‘Hotel Min’

It started life as a hospital for the poor and now looks forward to a future accommodating the well off.

Bath’s historic Mineral Water Hospital – built originally in the mid 18th century as a general hospital for the “sick poor from Britain and Ireland” has just had plans to convert it into a 160 bedroom hotel approved by B&NES planning committee.

This Grade 2 * listed building has enjoyed a long history of caring for the sick – more recently those with rheumatic diseases – but was sold off by the NHS after a new ‘Min’ was built elsewhere.

Not everyone is happy to see the building converted into yet another hotel but it does guarantee its future.

Other ideas – including combining museums within the structure – would need financial backing. It’s not the best of times to go looking for that sort of money.

The Fragrance Hotel Group – based in Singapore – seem to think this is a worthy investment and it’s their money after all.

While l am sure this will be a re-development which will continue to generate comment over the next couple of years – l wanted to give space to a Bath Newseum follower called Penny Williamson who has come up with a great idea that the hotel group might like to adopt for their redevelopment of the Min.

She tells me:

“I have written twice to Fragrance Hotel Group’s consulting agency asking them if they would consider creating a Physic Garden in the garden space at the back of the building – even a ‘Fragrance’ and Physic Garden.

It would show their commitment to the environment, and – if the Chelsea Physic Garden in London is anything to go by – it could be commercially attractive too, although a considerably smaller space. 

It would also reflect the curative history of The Min. 

No reply received. Not even an acknowledgment of receipt. So I don’t think they do take much interest in ‘consultation’’. I wonder if anyone would be interested in helping me to contact a decision-maker within Fragrance to ask them to consider this? 

I am one of the Bath Natural History Society field officers and we have just the right people to help with the planting and as well as excellent contacts in historical gardens.

She then sent me a photo with the following message:

“The little garden lies beyond the car park at the back of The Min in Bridewell Street (where the tree is shown here). This is Parsonage Lane running parallel.

 Here you see the back of the old museum and the Chapel which – if preserved, perhaps as a tea room/shop (like Chelsea) – could lead on to the garden.

Maybe they would consider incorporating the car park within the garden project as well – perhaps putting any car park underground.The siting is perfect with these important ‘assets’ adjacent to a potential ‘Fragrance and Physic Garden.”

Well, Penny, l am also trying to make contact with the Fragrance Group. If l do l will pass your details on to them.


  1. Good luck with this initiative! Although not a resident of Bath these days, I was a near neighbour of the old Min Water Hospital,, working in the Chronicle Photographic Dept. in a now demolished building at the Westgate Street end of Bridwell Lane. I photographed a number of Royal visits there in my time (1957-1968) and I find it very sad on my visits to the City fo see major buildings lying derelict (is KES) but good to see some in good use, the old Tech for example. If the Min becomes an hotel, it will at least preserve the classic façade, and I wold have thought a sensible letter sent to the PR advisers for the Group, offering a very attractive offer of a link with history and its heritage would be something that they could get their client on board with.

Comments are closed.