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    A Local Guide to Odd Down

    An electoral ward and suburb of Bath, Odd Down sits just south-west of the city centre, a hidden gem with a vibrant and thriving community of sports enthusiasts and plenty of recreational opportunities amongst its beautiful natural surroundings.

    A Brief History of Odd Down

    Once extensively quarried and mined for fuller’s earth and oolitic limestone, Odd Down, alongside neighbouring Combe Down, still holds historical sites such as a mine shaft, oolitic limestone quarries and mines, and fuller’s earth works. Some of these sites are visible on the early Ordnance Survey maps, as well as areas containing evidence of other industrial activity such as a lime kiln, a glassworks, and a canal.

    Location of Odd Down

    Odd Down sits within the city of Bath, towards the south-west of the bustling city centre. Much of the suburb consists of the Odd Down Sports Ground, a large expanse of land used for cycling and fitness activities. Moreover, a park and ride bus service makes accessing the city centre a breeze.

    Sights to See

    Among Odd Down’s several historical points of interest is the Cross Keys Inn, a Grade II listed building believed to have been built during the late 17th or early 18th century. A pub that sits next to the site was constructed at an even earlier time, originally serving as a coaching inn.

    Situated nearby is St Philip & St James’ Church, a parish church that was originally built as a subsidiary church to St Luke’s. Its title changed during the 1950s when the dedication of St James Church in the city centre’s Southgate was moved due to the destruction caused by German bombing campaigns in 1942. There is also the Chapel of St Martin, a church which sits near St Martin’s Hospital and the Aspire Academy school.

    The Wansdyke area, from ‘Woden’s Dyke’, is a series of early mediaeval defensive linear earthworks consisting of a ditch and a running embankment, 1220 metres of which runs through Odd Down, dedicated as an ancient monument. Wansdyke is formed of two main – an eastern dyke, running between Savernake Forest, West Woods, and Morgan’s Hill, and a western dyke, running between Monkton Combe to the ancient hill fort of Maes Knoll.

    Things to Do

    Odd Down boasts an extremely picturesque landscape, making it the ideal spot for taking a walk and unwinding in the midst of its green hills and tranquil trails. Throughout the year, the residents of the suburb also organise and take part in several local events and initiatives, such as festivals, fairs, and markets that showcase the work of local artists, musicians, and businesses.

    The Odd Down Sports Ground is a widely popular venue for locals and visitors to enjoy, offering 3G astroturf and grass pitches, a 1.5km cycle track, a cricket square, athletics and fitness classes, and room hire for parties and activities, with the famous Bath BMX track situated not too far away. A suburb big on sports, Odd Down is also home to Gracie Barra Bath, an MMA centre offering classes and lessons in Jiu-Jitsu, as well as self defence.

    There is also the Odd Down Cycle Circuit, a 1.5km purpose-built, closed-road cycling circuit constructed from smooth tarmac, laying between 6-8 metres wide with two hairpin bends. Constructed during 2012, the circuit officially opened in 2013, and is currently managed and owned by the Bath & North-East Somerset Council. Cycling enthusiasts can enjoy the various cycling events and training sessions held here.

    The Odd Down A.F.C., affiliates of the Somerset County FA, is the suburb’s local football club that sometimes plays here, which won the 2015-2016 Western Premier League. The club, founded in 1901 by Fred Weaver, are currently members of the Western League Division One, and often hold matches at the Lew Hill Memorial Ground.

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