A flock of sheep on the steep field in front of Lansdown Crescent on the Northern slopes of Bath. An odd but lovely urban sight, a very faint echo of the times when drover’s roads criss-crossed the UK, bringing flocks of sheep into many city-centre markets. (More history below the pictures…) The sheep were good to draw, slow-moving with chunky curves, spindly legs, and their head shape reminded me of camels.
White Rotring pen, Lexington grey in fountain pen and water-brush, white gouache, A5 – 45 minutes
White Rotring pen, Noodlers brown ink in fountain pen, Lexington grey water-brush, watercolour, A6 – 30 minutes
‘Medieval Bath became a city of trade and prospered from the woollen industry. It was ideally situated as drovers could bring their sheep in from the edge of the Cotswold Hills, the River Avon powered the mills and proximity to the port of Bristol helped the traders sell and transport their goods. Bath became famous for its tightly woven broadcloth. There were 50 broad looms in one area of Broad Street alone. The importance of the wool trade is illustrated by the occupations of MPs for Bath – three weavers, a cloth maker and a cloth merchant – while in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the Wife of Bath is “an expert in cloth making – better than the cloth-makers of Ypres and Ghent.” ‘ (From the Mayor of Bath’s website)
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