Though Bath is a World Heritage city and unique in Europe – along with Venice – as being one of only two city centres on that part of the World Map with such a distinction – we mustn’t forget some of the individual heritage places and spaces within it.
Friday sees the start of this year’s Heritage Open Days. In a programme of visits – running through to Sunday, September 22nd – you will be offered the chance of looking behind the scenes at everything from the work going on to repair the floor of Bath Abbey to seeing what happens to all your recycled rubbish at the Recycling Depot at Keynsham.
Pop down to Cleveland Pools on Saturday and Sunday the 21st and 22nd of September where work will start soon to restore the oldest public open pool in the UK.
Or go visit Bath Elim Church and try your hand at some of the skills used by the Victorian craftspeople who built this unique building.
There’s loads more places to visit on the list and l suggest you access bathes.gov.uk/heritageevents to find out more.
l’ll be doing my bit at Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution in Queen Square this coming Saturday – the 14th of September – where l was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the guest curators of a special exhibition featuring artefacts from the museum’s amazing collection.
My exhibit has been a phial of liquid believed to have come from the brandy-filled barrel in which Lord Nelson’s body was brought back to England from the battle of Trafalgar for burial in the crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral.
I’ll show you the display at 10.45 and then – at 11am – a chance to go out of the Nelson Trail and visit all the places in the city centre with associations with Nelson and his family and mistress Lady Hamilton.
While the list of attractions is interesting and worthy of exploration l wonder if people might have suggestions to ‘pump up the volume’ for next year.
Where would you like to have a nose around the city – and remember – we’re talking heritage!
l’d like to walk through the city’s only remaining medieval entranceway – the East Gate by the Empire Hotel – and maybe saunter down Slippery Lane which led to the rope holding ferry across the Avon.
There’s the colonnades and rooms beside Pulteney Weir and the mosaic in the basement of the old Min – well, if work hasn’t already started to turn it into a luxury hotel.
Maybe someone living in Great Pulteney Street would let us explore cellars under that road or let us see where the tunnel from the old Min meets up with the Pump Room and Roman Baths complex.
Do let me have your own thoughts on opening up heritage.