The a38

If you turn out of our road, turn left onto Thornbury Road until you get to the junction with Links Road then turn left again, you’ll be beginning one way out of our village/ I guess Thornbury is named after the village near Bristol, Links is because the road runs past the golf links and onto the beach. Once you turn left onto Links Road, keep going, past houses on the left and a field which sometimes has sheep in it, sometimes donkeys, occasionally horses, and in the past alpacas… or were they llamas?

You are heading towards Uphill hill and you can see the ruined church of St Nicholas on top, and the face of the quarry, now disused but worked for many years, the limestone being burnt in the onsite lime kilns and then shipped out from Uphill, across the channel to Wales, or down the coast to Devon and Cornwall or up the coast to Bristol. You bear left, past the entrance to the boatyard on your right, Wharf Farm, no longer a farm on your left, and over the rhyne – Uphill Great Rhyne. You’re now on Uphill Way, and you carry on, past a lovely variation of houses, past the Old Hall now La Cucina, past our pub the Dolphin (you could always stop and designate a driver and the rest of you have a pint or two! Carry all the way along Uphill Way, past Folly Lane on the right which would take you on foot up onto the hill, and you will meet a junction.

On the right corner is the Manor House; this is not Uphill Manner which is at the other end of the village. The Manor House, dated to the late 1500’s is the oldest domestic building in the village and is now a care home. Turn right past the Manor House and immediately you come to a mini roundabout. You can take either the first exit which leads past the hospital to a big roundabout. When you get to the roundabout, go all the way round and take the third exit onto the A370 which leads you out of Weston-super-Mare. If you take the second exit off the mini roundabout, you go up Uphill Road South, past the Grange (once an orphanage which I’ve written about previously) to a junction with the A370; turn right to head out into Somerset.

This short journey out of our village leads you onto the A370, which leads to the A38 which is the longest two digit A road in England. It’s an amazing 292 miles long and runs from Bodmin in Cornwall to Mansfield in Nottinghamshire, and parts of it are known as Devon Expressway, Bristol Road and Gloucester Road. Apparently, according to Wikipedia, it was also known as the Leeds–Exeter Trunk Road, when it was linked to the A61. I remember before the M5 motorway was built when the A38 was clogged with nose to tail traffic in the summer, mile after mile of bumper to bumper cars and coaches heading down into the southwest for annual summer holidays. Now when the motorway has problems people divert off and follow the old A road – we used to when we travelled down at weekends from Manchester to Weston if there were hold-ups.

As with many A roads and motorways, they follow the old Roman roads. Over to Wikipedia: “Considerable lengths of the road in the West Midlands closely follow Roman roads, including part of Icknield Street. Between Worcester and Birmingham the current A38 follows the line of a Saxon salt road; For most of the length of the M5 motorway, the A38 road runs alongside it as a single carriageway road.”

Here’s a link to more information about our village of Uphill:

https://uphillvillagesociety.org.uk/town-history/.

.a38

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