Plenty of new tree planting underway down at the newly named ‘Bath Quays’ site where a ‘re-defining’ of the river bank – as part of a scheme to reduce the risk of flooding – has created the opportunity for fashioning a new waterside park-type feature for people to eventually enjoy.
It follows a lot of archaeology in which the people of Bath were able to be reminded – in reports here on Bath Newseum and at a BRSLI lecture – about the ordinary lives of those former citizens who inhabited this flood-prone area.
Both their tenements and places of work were uncovered – along with several pubs and even a laundry/wash-house which substituted for the lack of facilities at home in the slums.
Properly recorded, it has all disappeared.
I say all but, under an anonymous black plastic sheet, lies one reminder of the past. The excavated remains of a stone bridge built to cross a ditch as part of 18th century improvements to an old riverside path.
While landscaping work gathers pace around it there is still no decision on how best to proceed with its preservation and incorporation into this new scheme.
At this rate they will have built the new pedestrian bridge across the river nearby before we discover the long-term fate of this rather smaller old one!
Across the river flood defence barriers are also being erected. I look forward to the new trees taking root and to some good news about this little relic of Bath’s humbler past.