Downham Hill is an outlying hill from the surrounding Cotswold escarpment, separated by a small valley. Due to the physical nature of the hill it lent itself to being a Smallpox isolation hospital during the 18th and 19th century, making it one of the earliest isolation hospitals in the country. It is believed that the hospital played a roll in Edward Jenner’s studies of the disease, and aided his eventual discovery of the Smallpox vaccine.
The hill has now become a local viewpoint with people unknowingly walking the same paths as their predecessors, in the hunt for a different version of isolation. With the hills past all but forgotten besides its local nickname, ‘Smallpox Hill.'
I originally focused solely on the hill itself, documenting the summit over a 12 month period. During the UK's lockdown for Covid-19 I was drawn back to the idea of isolation and the part that Smallpox Hill plays, but this time investigating the surrounding landscape.