Bath’s Saw Close has a long and not always noble history. It was where timber was sawn up for our city’s Georgian building boom – trees dragged in over ditches with a man up top and one below at either end of a giant saw. Getting the upper hand is a phrase that may well have come from the job of the man on top. Much nicer than getting sawdust in your eyes down below.
However, there were other pits in this open space – once also known as Timber Green – for bear baiting and cockfighting.
While now ‘marked-out’ by the Theatre Royal, old Blue Coat School and what’s left of the Palace Theatre – it had a more industrial past as the site for clay pipe manufacturing and a soap and candle factory.
Bath’s first organised large-scale gambling since the days of Beau Nash gets underway in a couple of week’s time with the opening of the casino. There’s a boutique hotel opening in the near future too.
They are products of a new development that is being used to revitalise and energise the area and with a large public ‘piazza’ in the middle of it all.
I don’t know who does the design work for this sort of thing but it is nowhere near as grand as anything you might see in Spain or Italy.
I am a keen cyclist myself but cannot understand why a big open space is ‘littered’ with cycle racks and rows of bus-station-styled benches when there could have been a fountain – or at least a tree – as a centrepiece.
The steps that have been installed at the Blue Coat School end are positively dangerous. Coming into the space from Upper Borough Wall the edges are not defined. I am seeing tumble after stumble as people trip on them.
At least define them with white lines.
I am disappointed. Sterility rules OK?