The last two Georgian-built ‘Chair Attendants’ Lodges’ still standing in Bath are reported to have fetched £159,000 at auction.
The West and East Sedan Chair Houses, which are thought to have been built in the 1730s, were sold by Bath & North East Somerset Council, one for £81,000 and the other for £79,000.
The buildings, which were built by the noted architect John Wood the Elder in Queen’s Parade Place, are single storey and measure just 100 square feet apiece.
Councillor Charles Gerrish, (Conservative, Keynsham North), Cabinet Member for Finance and Efficiency, said: “The council has a policy of continually reviewing its properties and these were not part of its heritage estate.
Although these are unusual and historic buildings, they had only a very low rental income and are were not easily lettable because of their size and lack of essential facilities.
Capital receipts generated from the sale of the properties will be re-invested into the Council’s portfolio. Because the buildings protected by Grade II-listed, any future development by their new owners would have to be in accordance with statutory listing regulations. ”
The square-shaped little stone buildings – complete with their original Georgian chimneys – are in Queen’s Parade Place. They have been sold for commercial use.
They were built in 1734 – by John Wood the Elder – as places for sedan chairmen to rest between carrying fare-paying passengers in the city’s first taxis service.
They were auctioned by Savills with a guide price of around £25,000 each.
The properties are Grade 11 listed which means – while the interiors can be modified – the exterior facades will have to remain pretty much the same.
John Wood – and his son John – were responsible for some of Bath’s crowning architectural set-pieces including Queen Square, The Circus and the Royal Crescent.