In the footsteps of Edward Bach

The Bach Trail

The were many places where Dr Bach lived, worked and found the flowers famously used in his Bach flower remedies. In London he had a laboratory in Nottingham Place W1 and there are a number of addresses where he lived. But these are less interesting than the field locations where he discovered and made the essences. The first of the new remedies were Impatiens, Clematis and Mimulus which he found growing along the banks of the River Usk, not far from the Welsh town of Crickhowell.

The Twelve Healers

Wales - Crickhowell

In the late summer of 1928, Dr Bach came by train to Abergavenny. He probably walked the few miles along the river to reach the bridge and then along the footpath, just as we can today. Impatiens grows hereprolifically.

The 'cooking field' where he made Mimulus is now part of a school playing field and there are very few plants here now, although he said it grew 'to perfection' in this area.

C W Daniel, 1990
Clematis grows freely along the roadside between the two towns.

Also here in Crickhowell you can see one of the largest mature Oak trees it still grows strongly although the hollow centre has been repeatedly set fire to.

Wales - Abergaveny

A short walk from the train station you come upon Holywell Lane. Dr Bach must have walked past here on his way into town. This is the clue to finding the site of Ffynon y Carreg - Welsh name for The Rock Well - where Dr Bach made the Rock Water remedy in August 1933. In the grounds of St Mary's Priory Church the spring itself is now covered over and buried beneath a car park. In the church there are several carvings worthy of note.

Heather was found in this same part of the world - Nora Weeks says it was in the mountains not far from Crickhowell. There are spectacular hillside views of Heather in this area, part of the Brecon Beacons National Park. A walk up the Gryne Fawr valley will lead you past Sweet Chestnut, Beech, Holly, Oak, White Chestnut, Larch Pine, Crab Apple and Wild Rose with good opportunities to see Agrimony, Aspen, Centaury, and Gorse. Cotyldon Umbilicus, once chosen and then abandoned as one of Bach's remedies, grows specifically in this area.

Wales - Bettws Y Coed

Early in 1930 he finally left London for good and went to Wales. He stayed near Bettws y Coed - today a very famous tourist attraction because of its stunning waterfalls. It was here that he made the intuitive discovery of the 'sun method' of preparing the new remedies. Bettws y Coed is in North Wales on the A5, near the Snowdonia National Park.

Wales - Abersoch

From Bettws y Coed he moved to Abersoch, near Pwltheli. Here he perfected the sun method, as we know it today and wrote the manuscript for his book Heal Thyself.

From Bettws y coed take the A470 to Porthmadog then the A497 to Pwltheli and onto Abersoch.

Cromer

After leaving Wales he stayed briefly in London and then moved to the small seaside town of Cromer. It was here that he spent the next four winters until 1934, and also, any time he was not travelling the countryside looking for flowers.

Dr Bach made many of the first 19 flower remedies in and around Cromer. In 1930 we know he found and potenised Agrimony, Chicory, Vervain. He also made Clematis, which grows plentifully around the town, and then went onto make Centuary, Sow thistle, which he later disguarded. A busy year, he made Cerato in the Pleasance gardens near Overstrand, a few miles from Cromer. His final plant that year was the tiny Scleranthus or annual Knawel, found in local cornfields.

Directions to the original Agrimony location:-
This location is now a part of the golf course, but you can still see where it was - although it might be slightly dangerous, with flying golf balls!
Follow A148 out of Cromer, once at Aylmeton take a right turn, signposted to Roman Camp. Follow the road down the road into West Runton, and take a right turn into a small road, just past the Links Hotel, and this brings you to the Golf course and near the Agrimony location.

Cromer - Clematis

Enjoy a mile long circular walk including beach and cliffs around Cromer.

Follow the sea-front walk, easterly out of Cromer towards Overstrand. Follow promenade until path ends and then walk along the beach. Notice the magnificent banks of Clematis on the cliffs. Nora Weeks said in Doctor Bach's Biography, that he made Clematis around Cromer and it's not hard to suppose that he made it here. Stroll for half a mile or so until you see wooden steps climbing to the top the cliff. Follow the steps upwards, through the banks of Clematis, (take it easy - there are resting points at intervals). At the top, view the Cromer lighthouse. Turn right and walk back into Cromer on the cliff top, enjoy the Gorse and wonderful views of the sea. To save your legs, you can do the walk in reverse!

Cromer - Cerato

For a longer walk, turn left at the top of the cliff steps and walk for a further breathtaking mile, over the cliff tops into Overstrand (watch out for flying balls again, this is another golf course!) You emerge into a car park and opposite you is the Pleasance - now a Christian Holiday Centre. All delegates of the Conference have permission to walk in the grounds where Doctor Bach made the Cerato remedy. It has been lovingly replanted, so look for its striking blue flowers, luckily, this is exactly the right time of year to view it.

If you prefer, you can take this trip by the car. Take the B1159 easterly out of Cromer. After a short drive of under two miles you enter Overstrand. Take the second left turn into the village and turn left towards the sea front. Follow road around to the left and drive into car park. The Pleasance is on your left opposite the car park. There is a lovely sea front Café here for drinks, light lunches and cakes.

If you have time, take a wonderful beach walk here. Turn right and walk along the beach, once out of the sea defences you can enjoy beautiful, unspoiled expanses of cliffs and sea.

North Norfolk

From his base in Cromer we know Dr Bach explored the whole county of Norfolk, the Broads, further south from Cromer, and also the salt marches of Blakeney and Cley to the north.

North Norfolk - Walsingham and Rock Water

No trip to North Norfolk is complete without a visit to the famous Christian shrine of Walsingham. Explore the ruined Abbey grounds, and visit the Slipper Chapel where there is a shrine to Jesus's house in Nazareth and a holy spring in the church. There are large flagons of water from the spring which you can drink. Had this spring had remained undisturbed this would have been an ideal Rock Water location.

South of England - Water Violet

In 1931 he visited Sussex where he found and potentised the Water Violet which was growing in dykes around Lewes.

South of England - Gentian

Later in 1931 he found the Gentian remedy growing on the hills near Ewelme in Oxfordshire, but being July, the plant was not in Flower. He finally made it in September, on a hillside close to Westerham, near the Pilgrims way in Kent.

South of England - Rock Rose

In 1932 he returned to his Gentian location in Kent and found the ground carpeted with Rock Rose which he knew to be the final remedy to complete the 12 healers.

The Seven Helpers

Gorse

In 1933 he began making the second group of remedies, the 7 helpers. The first, Gorse he potenised in Marlow on the Thames.

Oak

Coming back to Cromer in April 1993 he made the Oak from trees around Cromer. There is some confusion over where exactly Doctor Bach made this remedy. The Roman Camp or Felbrigg? However these are both wonderful places to visit and very close by. Looking at the map drawn by Doc Bach of his Agrimony location, you can see his placing of the Roman Camp and Felbrigg.

Directions to the Roman Camp:-
Follow A148 out of Cromer, once at Aylmeton take a right turn, signposted to Roman Camp. Some way down the road, watch out for the left turn into the Roman Camp Car Park. This is Beacon Hill, so take the time to enjoy the Gorse and the view. However, the Roman Camp is the woodland on the other side of the road. Watch out for Scots pine here, it is common in this area.

Directions to Felbrigg:-
Follow A148 out of Cromer, take a left turn to Roughton, the B1436. About half a mile down the road on the right are the gates into Felbrigg Hall. There is free parking and long nature walks in very mature woodland. See Larch, Oak, Beech, Holly, White and Sweet Chestnut. Enjoy tea and cakes in the National Trust café.

Heather and Rock Water

Later that year he returned to Crickhowell in Wales to make the Heather and also the Rock Water. But you don’t have to travel so far to see the majesty of Heather - visit Kelling Heath. September is an ideal time of the year to see this amazing and vast expanse of Heather, much of it on quite high ground for such a flat county like Norfolk. Notice, also some late flowering Western Gorse.

Take A149 out of Cromer, (this is the coast road). Drive through West Runton and Sheringham. Once in Weybourne, turn left, then take the right fork. Follow road till you reach the heathland. Plenty of parking on both sides of road.

Wild Oat

Near Wallingford is the pretty little village of Sotwell, and it was around here in 1934 that he made the last of the Seven Helpers, the Wild Oat.

The Second Nineteen

The Bach Centre and Sotwell

Seeing the need to be nearer his patients and London, he decided it was time for a move and a kind friend lent him a small cottage, Mount Vernon in Sotwell, which he already knew well, having made the Wild Oat there. This is still the location of the famous Bach Centre.

In the spring of 1935 he underwent the most intensive period of essence making, and produced the second nineteen, which are mostly trees. These he found in and around Sotwell, so no Bach Trail is complete without a visit to this village and the surrounding countryside.

Delegates of the Conference are welcome to visit the Bach Centre, before and after the Conference. It is open daily, Monday to Friday.

A special trip to the centre is being arranged for Monday the 25th September, with a coach taking delegates from Cromer during the morning with a complimentary lunch upon arrival. Transport to airport and trains after the visit will also be arranged.

For further details, click here for the Bach Centre open day.

 

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