Tagged with Bath history

Art and History Uniting Communities

Art and History Uniting Communities

In the midst of despair at the divisiveness and hostility between many Britons, I offer some thoughts from our Georgian past. This is one of my favourite quotes, so apologies to anyone who has read it before. It comes from Highways & Byways in Somerset by Edward Hutton, on the importance of the city of … Continue reading

Octagon Chapel Bath – Update

This chapel was the first subscription chapel in England. William Herchell was organist there and his sister was in the choir. It is one of he most beautiful Georgian buildngs in Bath, but when the Royal Photographic Society moved out it struggled to find new purpose, especially after the main street entrance was sold for … Continue reading

Bath Pump Room

Bath Pump Room

This is where visitors to the spa used to come in the mornings for a large drink of the famous waters. You can still try the stuff – tastes rather metallic, but I’ve had worse. Cheltenham water is said to be truly awful. This is now an upmarket tea room, and if you are lucky … Continue reading

Bath Assembly Rooms

Bath Assembly Rooms

In Eighteenth century England , any town of any note had assembly rooms, for dinners and balls, but also music recitals, public meetings and lectures. Bath had two in competition with each other by mid century, but the fashions changed, people had parties with friends and they fell into decline. The surviving, upper rooms are … Continue reading

Thomas Smitten

One of my favourite artists was the portrait painter Sir Thomas Lawrence, a child protege son of a failed innkeeper who managed to support his large family painting pastel portraits before he was a teen. I’ve done a post about him elsewhere, but he clearly loved women, and his paintings are full of bare pink … Continue reading

A House for Colour Music

Not a lot of people get to design their own homes; not many need to, but there’s one on the outskirts of Bath, England that is rather extraordinary. It dates from the 1930s when all sorts of strange things were happening in architecture and technology, and this house combines both with extraordinary results. It is … Continue reading

Spellcheck Meltdown

I have often found unusual names for fabrics from 18th century archives, but this account shows the wide variety that was available, in a single store. These names reflect the wide ranging sources – of different breeds of sheep that produce the wool, of cotton, of coarse and fine linen, and silks, plus the many … Continue reading

Three Buildings for One Visit

Three Buildings for One Visit

The building that is now the Freemason’s Hall in Bath, has got a fascinating history – it began as a theatre, then became a catholic chapel before the Freemasons took it over. It is now a mixture of the three uses, and well worth a visit. Theatres were not respectable places until well into the … Continue reading

Cheeribums as Daniel Seed.

The first mention of bicycles in the West Country of England comes from the Bath Gazette in May 1843 which notes two descriptions of three wheeled vehicles in use on the streets of Bath. One was propelled by the rider ‘rising up and down, after the manner of horse exercise’ which sounds like it was … Continue reading