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Worcester to Mickleton

David Jonathan’s journeys in the mid-19th Century are often disappointing to follow because he & his men took the turnpike routes; and nearly all of them are now so traffic-bound that it’s suicide to follow them on foot or bike.  And the object of the website is not just to document drovers’ routes, but to provide some countryside to explore on foot or two wheels.


Nevertheless, I offer this one, from August 1851-2 (#1).  He was, as you see from the top, taking sheep.  Cattle & pigs would have been exhausted by the heat & lack of water; probably starving too, as the grass doesn’t grow much at that time of year.  But sheep seem to survive on very little & even like being driven.


After the gates at Worcester he mentions “Cwmsill” (Goom’s Hill at SP 023546).  There is an old inn at the heart of the hamlet, but it’s a bit cramped.  My bet is that he stopped a couple of hundred yards west, on the same road, at Goom’s Hill Farm, which is on the edge of the hamlet with plenty of room for stock1.  And it has a pine tree! (#2)


He must have crossed the Avon at Bidford, worth visiting because of the bridge (#3), before walking the featureless flatlands of the Avon valley to The Lamb at Mickleton (#4).  It’s now a private house in Milking Pail Lane2, but we know he went there 13 years later in 1864 because he’s written the name of the landlord and the address (‘Portway’) in his account book (#5).  He wouldn't have needed this to find the place, so he was probably planning to book ahead by post.  He was an avid correspondent.  


Next stop: Long Compton…


1 When he went to Stratford he stopped at Wheelbarrow Castle (“Wilbercastle”), now a large roadhouse a mile west of Goom’s Hill.
2 It's also in Gloucestershire these days.

Worcester to Mickleton image 1
West Wales to Launton, 1851
Worcester to Mickleton image 2
Goom's Hill Farm
Worcester to Mickleton image 3
Bidford Bridge
Worcester to Mickleton image 4
The Lamb at Mickleton
Worcester to Mickleton image 5
The Landlord in 1864