New floor for ‘star’ chamber

What is regarded by many as Bath‘s finest interior looks like getting a bit of a major overhaul. Bath and North East Somerset Council is putting in a planning application to itself to replace the flooring in the City’s magnificent Banqueting Hall. IMG_4627

It’s the star attraction within The Guildhall which was built in the late 18th Century and given additional wings in the late 19th.

Michael Forsyth – in his Pevsner Architectural Guide to Bath – describes this crystal-chandelier-hung space as ‘ a masterpiece of up-to-the-minute late 18th century ¬†decoration.’

The Banqueting Hall – or Ball Room – has seen many formal mayors’ dinners in its time.

Forsyth says it forms part of a ‘immensely extravagant building (which) may also be regarded as a riposte to the Upper Assembly Rooms from which many civic dignitaries, mainly tradespeople, were socially excluded.’

IMG_4630The application to get planning permission to replace the floor also applies to renovations needed on the grand staircase – constructed of Dutch oak.

Of course the flooring is not contemporary with the original construction of the central portion of the Guildhall.

A spokesman for the Council told the Virtual Museum:

‘The existing floor has been in place since circa 1923 and has sustained heavy use in that 90 year period, meaning it is nearing the end of its useable life.IMG_4628

We are at the early investigation stages of proposed works to replace the existing timber floor with floor boards in an appropriate manner to reflect one of the finest Georgian interiors in Bath.’