Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Tuesday, 18 November 2014
This - so the plaque tells me - is the first (and therefore oldest) war memorial in the world. It commemorates the death of Sir Bevil Grenville at the Battle of Lansdown in 1643 (I think) so it doesn't seem that old to me, but let me know if you know any older.
It is only a few hundred yards from the oldest dedicated race-course in the world as well - the Bath horse racing course at Lansdown. Again, let me know if you know of an older one, and I will get straight onto Wikipedia about it.
A couple of miles away in Bath Abbey, the first King of all England was crowned in 975 AD. Prior to him, we had loads of little kings dotted about the country, all competing with each other in the importance stakes.
The first poem ever to be written in the English language comes from here too. It was composed by an Anglo Saxon tourist to the city, who was struck by the melancholic ruins of the Roman Baths. They were steaming ruins even in those days, and you would be hard-pressed to recognise the language as English.
The first carrots ever to be commercially grown in England were in the village of Beckington, a few more miles from Bath, and chronicled by my hero, John Aubrey.
Britain's first case of AIDS was contracted in a nightclub a matter of 200 yards from where I write this. I went there but once, and it was a nasty, seedy, underground place near the river, dotted with dark alcoves which could have been made for contracting AIDS in. It is now a restaurant.
That's 6 'firsts', but if I think of any more, I'll add them to the list. I am going to sign off now - Molly style - by asking this question: