Let’s party – Georgian style!

We know already that Bath was THE place to be seen in – in Georgian England but – for the well-to-do who flocked here – there was more to ‘the season’ than just bathing and balls.

#2 grosvenor map 1800
This was a popular ‘Vauxhall’ – at Grosvenor Gardens beside the London Road. Now buried beneath housing and Kensington Meadows.

Away from the thermal waters and the glitter of the Assembly Room gatherings – and if gout or the dropsy wasn’t getting you down – there were the city’s pleasure gardens to enjoy.

#11 1852 map rev 1876 merged
This map shows just how popular and prolific Bath pleasure gardens were.

Forget the prim and proper parks of the Victorians, these were private grounds that offered everything from outdoor dining to fireworks, music and even the odd balloon ascent.

All for the price of an entry ticket.

Local author and publisher Kirsten Elliott has spent years researching the Bath acreage dedicated to the pursuit of pleasure for her new book No Swinging on Sundays – The Story of Bath’s Lost Pleasure Gardens – published by The Akeman Press.


I met up with her in Sydney Gardens – itself the sole survivor of a Georgian ‘Vauxhall’ or pleasure garden – and a public green space about to be transformed with the aid of Lottery Fund money.

Just how popular were these amusement parks for adults?

Find out more about this book – and others regarding local history – via https://www.akemanpress.com