Summer Diary

Bath Preservation Trust has just supplied the Virtual Museum with its Summer diary running through to August. This covers events at No 1 Royal Crescent, the Building of Bath Collection and the Herschel Museum.

May 2013

Saturday 11 May until November
Building of Bath Collection – Brutal Bath Exhibition 

Part of our Building Post-War Bath project, the exhibition centres on the development of Bath following WW2.  Thanks to the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the project will look in particular at the establishment and growth of social housing and how this went hand in hand with the introduction of Modernism and New Brutalism in the historic city. Prepare to think differently about the buildings in the city that were constructed during the 1950s–1970s.

Saturday 18 May 7-9pm

Building of Bath Collection – Museums at Night

Come along and explore a free evening opening of our Brutal Bath exhibition which reveals the story of post-war architecture in Bath, accompanied by lively music from the 1950s and 60s.

Until 26 May 

Spring Exhibition – last chance

New Acquisitions at Beckford’s Tower.

An exhibition highlighting the variety of smaller items to have entered the Beckford’s Tower collection over the last few years.  Less high profile than our blockbuster pieces of furniture, but no less perfectly formed.

June 2013

1 June – 8 September

Summer Exhibition 

Views of Fonthill Abbey

Fonthill Abbey from South West
Fonthill Abbey from the South West

Beckford’s ill-fated Fonthill Abbey was recorded by a variety of artists before it collapsed in 1825.  This exhibition brings together objects from private collections including watercolours by John Warwick Smith and Francis Danby, to reveal the lost magnitude of the building surrounded by its sweeping landscape.

[Image: Fonthill Abbey from South West, Francis Danby, 1813, Private Collection]

3 June – 16 December

Exhibition Making Light of It – The art and science of light in the 18th Century

From humble rush lights and tallow to ruinously expensive beeswax candles, light was increasingly important in the Georgian home.  Above stairs gleaming mirrors reflected the light, it rainbowed off crystal chandeliers and danced on the burnished gilt picture frames.

At 19 New King Street William Herschel was frantically busy in his workshop polishing mirrors for his reflecting telescopes, but it was sunlight playing on a prism that led him to the discovery of infra-red.


Wednesday 12 June 2013 6pm

Lecture: Views of Fonthill Abbey £5 on the door

To coincide with the summer exhibition, Beckford’s Tower Curator Dr Amy Frost reveals how artists captured the glory of Fonthill Abbey and its landscape, creating a vibrant and enduring record of a building that is now lost.

Friday 21 June 

Grand Reopening of No 1 Royal Crescent 

Discover Georgian life in the ‘Number 1’ house in Bath. No.1 Royal Crescent will fully re-open on Friday 21 June, after a restoration project to reunite it with its original servants’ wing next door. Rooms in the new wing are already open so do pop in to see some of the museum’s collection, progress displays and to browse the beautiful new Georgian shop.

The extended museum will show Georgian life beyond the grand rooms and give visitors a vibrant and immersive experience of how people lived 200 years ago – both above and below stairs. The new visit will include kitchen and scullery; coalholes, corridors and stores;  house-keeper’s room; servants’ hall, grand dining room; withdrawing room; south parlour; lady’s and gentleman’s bedchambers; gentleman’s retreat.

Please see  for the latest details.

No 1 Royal Crescent (2)
No 1 Royal Crescent

Friday 21 June – Sunday 8 December 10.30am – 5.30pm 

Exhibition – Life in the Crescent: Residents and Restorations

In this exhibition you’ll uncover the history of No. 1 Royal Crescent, from construction right up to the present day.  Spanning four centuries the exhibition will focus on key residents who lived at No.1 Royal Crescent, and will highlight No.1’s significant restorations during the 1960s and in 2010.  Come along to this free exhibition from 21 June to see a snapshot of how life on the most celebrated Georgian terrace, the Royal Crescent has changed over the years.

Free entry.

Friday 21 June

Summer Solstice Solar Viewing

Kingston Parade, time TBC.

Join Bath Astronomers for a chance to view the sun safely.
NB the viewing will be dependent upon suitable weather conditions.

21 – 30 June

Building of Bath Collection – RIBA Love Architecture Festival

For all lovers of architecture join us for a series of events as part of the Royal Institute of British Architects Love Architecture Festival.

Monday 24 June 1pm – 2pm 

Free lunchtime walk – Preserving Bath

Join Dr Amy Frost on a walk in the city as she investigates the history of Building Preservation in Bath and reveals the buildings that were lost as well as those that were saved.

Free, but limited places so booking is essential. To book email

Tuesday 25 June 6.30pm.£5 on door.

Building of Bath Collection  – Lecture Early 20th Century Buildings in Bath.

The early years of the 20th century saw great change in British architecture as the influence of Historicism was challenged by the emergence of Modernism.  Dr Amy Frost explores the impact of this period of stylistic exploration on Bath and the architects.

Friday 28 June 1pm – 2pm Free

Free lunchtime walk  -‘Look and learn’: A guided walk with a conservation architect.
Join Peter Carey from Donald Insall Associates as he helps you learn how to ‘read’ Bath’s Georgian (and later) heritage. Free, but limited places so booking is essential. To book email

July 2013

Wednesday 10 July 6pm.  £5 on the door

Lecture at Beckford’s Tower and Museum – Souvenirs of Fonthill Abbey

The sale of Fonthill Abbey 1822 was one of the most talked about events in England. Dr Amy Frost investigates how it generated a wealth of ‘souvenirs’ showing views of the building that ranged from guidebooks to tea cups.

August 2013

Friday 2 August, 11am-1pm

Family Fridays Workshops at No 1 Royal Crescent 

Treasure Boxes – What do you treasure?

Henry was No. 1 Royal Crescent’s first resident.  He had a cabinet of curiosities where he kept his treasure.  Come and make your own treasure box and have a look at Henry’s cabinet to inspire you. Suitable for ages 8+

Free entry for Discovery Card Holders accompanied by children

Children’s Workshop

Thursday 8 August, 10.00am -11.30am

Drop-in Workshops – Herschel Museum of Astronomy  

Making Candles – Come and make beeswax candles, the luxury lighting of C18th Britain.

£2 per head, suitable for 5-10year olds, children must be accompanied.

Friday 16 August, 11am-1pm

Family Fridays Workshops at No 1 Royal Crescent 

Japanning with Glitter and Gold

Japanning is a lacquering technique which copies the lacquer traditionally produced in Japan and other Asian countries.  The pieces of Japanned furniture were decorated in gold leaf or paint.

Now it’s your turn to have a go at creating a black and gold Japanese style picture.

Suitable for ages 5+

Free entry for Discovery Card Holders accompanied by children

Thursday 29 August 10.00am -11.30am

Reflected Glory – Herschel Museum of Astronomy 

Find out how the Georgians dressed for candle light evenings: jewels that glittered, fabric that gleamed and mirrors reflecting every sparkle.

£2 per head, suitable for 5-10year olds, children must be accompanied.

Friday 30 August, 11am-1pm

Family Fridays Workshops at No 1 Royal Crescent 

Georgian Portraits

Put yourself in the picture by creating your own 18th century portrait. Colour in a costume and have your photograph taken to stick behind it. You can even design a picture frame to match!

Suitable for ages 5+

Free entry for Discovery Card Holders accompanied by children