Dan Brown – who founded Bath’s amazing archive photographs facility – Bath In Time – has sent me the following:
“Popped into the hardware stall in the Guildhall market and for the first time noticed the strip of polished stone passing through the shop.
I asked a member of staff if he knew what it was and he said it is the top of the city wall and he has to keep it exposed at all times. It certainly leads in the direction of the East Gate and I have no reason to doubt him.
You learn something every day, I had absolutely no idea.”
Meanwhile, Dan has shown the image to local historian and writer Mike Chapman who had much more to say on the subject.
Says Mike: ‘As you say, it points in the right direction southwards towards the East Gate and could be near the height of the parapet wall. However, the curve is suspicious and points northward towards the top of Bridge Street rather than Slippery Lane where it is still visible.
My guess is that this is not the actual wall but one built above it by Baldwin when he erected the covered market behind the new Guildhall. This might then be a survival of one of Baldwin’s partition walls which were laid out in ‘crescents’ between the different provision areas – replaced in the 1860s by the present 12-sided building.
The stall-holder was presumably alerted by Derek Rowe from Property Services who carried out a survey of cellars in the city some ten years ago, before we knew about the wall in Slippery Lane. Whatever the case, it is definitely a feature which should be preserved.”
See Dan Brown’s amazing archive library via http://www.bathintime.co.uk