Pump Room behind bars!

The Pump Room disappearing behind scaffolding.
The Pump Room disappearing behind scaffolding.

Scaffolding is currently going up over the facade of the Grand Pump Room – facing Abbey Churchyard. It will eventually be continued around the corner into Stall Street.

There is a lot of work to be done on the roof of Thomas Baldwin’s 1790-5 – which was completed by John Palmer after Baldwin’s dismissal in 1793.

I am told some specialist cleaning of stonework will also be carried out while the building is shrouded.

Looking towards Abbey Churchyard from Stall Street
Looking towards Abbey Churchyard from Stall Street

Not the most attractive look to one of Bath’s iconic buildings but the Council has chosen an out-of-season period to tackle the job.

Without maintenance there would be no Georgian building for our tourists to admire.

My thanks to Dan Brown – the man behind the excellent on-line archive Bath In Time – for this image of the Pump Room taken in the mid 1970’s.

The Pump Room in mid 1970's. It had been cleaned by 1979.
The Pump Room in mid 1970’s. It had been cleaned by 1979.

It certainly shows how dirty the building had become after years and years of countless coal fires burning in Bath.

This horrible black carbon coating has since been removed from most of the grand facades in the city.

1 Comment

  1. The blackened Pump Room was typical of Bath in the 1950s, and was caused by industrial and domestic smoke. London’s Great Fog in December 1952 caused about 12,000 fatalities. Nationally, it led to the 1956 Clean Air Act, and locally the Bath Terraces Scheme – an agreement between central and local government and owners of buildings which subsidised the cleaning of important buildings. In 1975 Bath’s Conservation Architect, David McLaughlin, carried out a survey of the state of cleanliness of the buildings, especially The Circus. Some had been cleaned in 1956 (nos. 12 ,15 , 21 & 22 which were owned by the Council), but the majority were still black. By 1989 many more had been cleaned but those in The Circus were beginning to get dirty again, this time due to traffic pollution.

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