Oh dear. I thought the electricity sub station in Parade Gardens was enough of a blot on the landscape – but now it’s got a rival down amongst the tree-lined lanes, lawns and flower beds.
B&NES Parks Department staff have worked wonders with these historic pleasure grounds beside the River Avon and l am delighted to see this has included the erection of information boards which tell something of its history.
In the 13th century these gardens belonged to the Abbey and would have been accessed through a gap in the old town wall. On the notice board is a copy of the late 16th century map which shows the grounds and also the Abbey Mill which straddled the river between the bank and a small island.
According to the information sign near the cafe at the North Parade end – ‘Some small ruins of the mill remain within the gardens today’.
Indeed they do. On the other side – away from this notice – and with no sign anywhere near them to explain what this pile of stones is.
I am also surprised by the ‘conservation’ that has been carried out on the ruins. While the correct lime mortar has been used it has been a bit of a slap it on job with no shaping to fit in with the stones. No doubt it’ll weather and fade in time?
This is an historic ruin – older than the Abbey – and maybe the only early medieval relic left in Bath – apart from the Norman foundations found beneath the Abbey itself.
Set into the stones is a carved block which appears to bear the keys of St Peter. Did this come from another part of the building? Or from the great Norman church?
Are these ruins protected in anyway? What do others think. Please go and look.
The flower beds have been magnificent this year and deserve admiration. It’s fingers crossed for this year’s Britain In Bloom competition results – which are due out next month. Let us hope Bath has done well.