Sack of Bath – revisited.

Forty years since first publication of The Sack of Bath, its author Adam Fergusson revisits our city and appeals again for its future.

Photograph of demolition underway from 'The Sack of Bath.'
Photograph of demolition underway from ‘The Sack of Bath.’

Adam Fergusson will be speaking at Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution on Wednesday July 24th. His renowned 1973 book The Sack of Bath managed to halt the headlong destruction of those times, and saved some much-loved corners of the city, such as Walcot St, from the bulldozers.IMG_4209

The talk marks the 40th anniversary of the first publication of the book, which drew world attention to the widespread demolition programme of the 60s and 70s. A new edition includes a new preface on current planning issues and reasons for concern. Adam Fergusson writes: ”We would be foolish to suppose that the battle for Bath itself is over.”

I interviewed Adam back in 2002 and here is a clip from that meeting.


Photograph of demolition underway from 'The Sack of Bath.'
Photograph of demolition underway from ‘The Sack of Bath.’

Although he now lives in London, Adam Fergusson remains passionate about our beautiful city. He is not against change as such, and praises “the wonderful open pool, crowning the new spa over one of the ancient springs”. But he warns that there are new threats to Bath’s unique character, in particular the loss of the surrounding green spaces which are a vital part of Bath’s heritage, and its charm.

Still fiercely outspoken in his eighties, Adam Fergusson writes “New threats to Bath’s historic and topographic integrity continue to alarm anyone who remembers how close it came to losing its unique character at the hands of the philistines forty years ago.”

Caroline Kay of Bath Preservation Trust and Joe Evans of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England will also be taking part in the meeting. This is an unmissable event for anyone who is interested in the recent history of our city and who cares about what is happening here today. A discussion at the end of the evening will give everyone the chance to air their views.

The Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution is on the west side of Queen Square. All are welcome, and the cost for non-members is £4.

The talk will run from 7.30 until 8.15, with the discussion afterwards continuing until about 9pm. The new edition of The Sack of Bath will be on sale, and Adam Fergusson will sign copies bought at the meeting.

Contact for further details: Linda Gamlin Tel: 01225 315569 or BRLSI Tel: 01225 312084 or see the website

1 Comment

Comments are closed.