Starting at the Clothiers Arms
1. Walk up Rodborough Hill. You will pass Lower, Middle, and Upper Spillmans. I interviewed nonagenarian Irene Connor in 2009. She remembers an old cobbler mending shoes in the street here back in the 1920s. He was born before which war of the mid-nineteenth century?
2. You ascend past Kings Road, Coronation Road and Queens Road on your left. The houses there began to develop in 1910 or so. Which king died in 1910? Which king was crowned?
3. As you ascend further you will see a turnpike mile post set in the wall. How many miles to Minchinhampton?
4. Opposite the pub is a house named Pike House. What building do you think used to be here? Clue: look at previous question.
5. Now turn left into Butterrow. The first house on your left used to be a shop. But you carry on until you see the allotments gate. The allotments are ‘Glebe Land’. What does this signify?
6. Now carry on until you see a cottage on your left that suggests a very different landscape from today. The name of the cottage?
7. The building on your right just to the left of the footpath on your left used to be a pub, the Princess Royal. An old neighbour told me that a publican used to have a creature in the bar that is now a simile for a disappointed football fan. What type of bird? And the simile?
8. Keep walking along Butterrow. The red brick terrace on your right is named Lucknow. This name suggests the Great Rebellion (or Indian Mutiny as we were taught). The year of the Siege of Lucknow? See how we are revealing hidden colonial history in our local landscape? Rhetorical question!
9. Apophenia is a mind-set that sees connections between apparently random occurrences. Look at the name of the cottage on your left. Think of Stroud scarlet cloth being exported to and by the East India Company. The name of the cottage?
10. Find Blenheim Cottage. Another insight into our martial history. When was the Battle of Blenheim?
11. The defeat of which country in this war led to Britain dominating which Atlantic trade?
12. Go past Blackmore Cottage and then turn right up Dark Lane. You go past Salem Cottage. What does the name Salem signify?
13. The cottage was built one year after the Stroud Weavers’ Riots. So what year were those?
14. Walk along Little London and look out for ash die-back. That is not the name of an American politician by the way. Take the steep track down on your right past Kestrels. Go to Rodborough Tabernacle. When was the ‘Tab’ first built?
15. We’re decolonising the landscape again. George Whitefield was an inspirational speaker who drew thousands to his preaching on Minchinhampton Common. He helped inspire the erection of Rodborough Tabernacle. He also had an ambivalent attitude towards slavery, say apologists. But it seems as though he campaigned for the legalisation of slavery in which American colony where he had plantations? It became a state after the American Revolution, of course.
16. Walk up along Tabernacle Walk towards Rodborough Hill. Remember Salem Cottage? You will pass another building with a biblical reference. What is it?
17. Turn left down Rodborough Hill. Stop outside the Prince Albert, turning left. It is said that Queen Victoria spoke English with a Germanic accent. He husband, of course, was German. What was the name of the royal family before they became the Windsors in World War One?
18. What was the name of the German aeroplanes that bombed Britain in WW1?
19. Make your way to Rodborough Church. ‘William Jubiter- black’ was buried here on July 1st 1778. It was common practice to give slaves and black servants preposterous classical names. Think back to where you have walked. Which house might reference William in its name?
20. Go to the top of the graveyard at the back up by the big outspreading red barked conifer tree. Find the Powell family headstone. Look towards the bottom to find a Great War death. Find ‘Pro Patria Mori”. What does this mean?
21. What was the full title of a n ironic Great War poem that included these words?
22. Who wrote it?
23. He wrote it after witnessing what type of attack? (gas)
24. He wrote it after Jessie Pope had written a poem likening war to a football match. What was the title of that poem?
25. Wander through the churchyard. There are quite a few WW1 headstones here: “There is some corner of a Rodborough churchyard That is forever England”. What poem am I referencing here?
26. Written by?
27. Leave the churchyard and turn right along Spillmans. In the 1920s, deliveries were made by horse and cart and all the front gardens were put to vegetables. Old Tom the horse preferred to lean his head over and get a bite to eat. What was his favourite vegetable?
28. Go to the end of the street and stand by the house on your left on the corner. It used to be a shop. For which society?
29. Descend the hill past the school. This building is typical of the schools that were built after an education act passed when?
30. Return to the Clothiers. Have a think. Has Spillmans been apostrophised or not or sometimes yes and sometimes no? Rhetorical question!