An illustrated guide to Slad, Gloucestershire
Katie B Morgan
- Credit: Wikimedia/Creative Commons
The Gloucestershire village made famous by author Laurie Lee is a haven for wildlife
Points of interest on Katie B Morgan’s map:
Cider flagon: Slad is the village at the centre of Cider with Rosie, written by Laurie Lee, who lived, drank and is buried here.
Rosebank: Laurie Lee, his mother and six siblings moved to Bank Cottage in 1917.
Books: Water Over Stone, by poet Francis Horovitz; Midsummer Morning Jog Log, by Michael Horovitz; Earth is Our Business, by Polly Higgins (Scottish barrister, author and environmental lobbyist, who tried to create a law to criminalise ecological damage).
Badger with coat on: Fence posts on Swift’s Hill were painted by a local artist to oppose the Government badger cull.
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Bulls Cross: A three-hectare common, famous for being mentioned in Cider with Rosie. It was once a wide, bare area of ground with a hangman’s gibbet, which would have easily been seen from a good way away. One of the roads passing by is an ancient salt way.
The Woolpack: Popular, unspoilt independent country pub.
Tiny snails: A rare snail, Lauria sempronii, lives between Swift’s Hill and Laurie Lee Wood.
Wild orchids: Over 13 species of wild orchid can be seen on Swift’s Hill.
Racehorse: Tom George Racing stables are based near Slad.
Signposts: Laurie Lee Wildlife Way. A five-mile circular walk with poetry posts.
Snow’s Farm: Nature reserve at the head of the Dillay Valley. It links Frith Wood and Swift’s Hill to make a circular walk.
Frith Wood: ‘Frith’ is a Saxon word meaning ‘wooded enclosure’. The ancient wood became a Gloucestershire Wildlife Nature Reserve in 1987. In the 1700s, Benjamin Hyett built an Arcadian retreat called Pan’s Lodge in the wood; all that can be seen now is a mound.
Swifts: Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust bought Swift’s Hill from Mr FR Elliott in 1967.
Redding Wood: Leading to Catswood.
Laurie Lee Wood: This nature reserve – previously called Trantershill Plantation – was bought by Laurie Lee in the 1950s, then sold by his daughter Jessy to the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.
Prints and cards of Katie B Morgan's maps and other illustrations are available to buy from her website: kbmorgan.co.uk