Searching for Philip Baylis

Visitors from Alberta, Canada were on a one-day mission in the Forest of Dean to find out about an ancestor who was well known in the area. He was none other than Philip Baylis, once Deputy Surveyor of the Dean Forest, based at the Headquarters in Whitemead, now a CSMA site for holiday-makers. They had done research, and had already visited his birthplace of Ledbury. They knew that Parkend was an important place to visit, so they boarded the Dean Forest Railway  for a trip to get a “feel” for the area before disembarking to visit Whitemead. By coincidence, a Forest of Dean tour guide was also on the train, and was able to point them in the right direction, and also show them the book “Whitemead Park, a short history”.

Whitemead Park has a bizarre reminder of the colourful Deputy Surveyor. In 1906 Philip Baylis erected a stone monument with a sundial to mark the death of his beloved pet, Satan the Dachshund. The monument has carvings of uplifting slogans as well as quotes from Shakespeare. The dog was given a formal funeral as the monument was unveiled. Unfortunately the sundial and original plaque are long gone, but the stone with the weathered words is still there.

Monument to Satan
Monument to Satan the beloved dog