The creator of Bath

Three years ago l was talking to Professor Timothy Mowl about his campaign to get a statue of Georgian architect John Wood the Elder erected in the middle of his Circus masterpiece.

It was a design-and-build feat he didn’t live to see completed. He died in 1754, shortly after witnessing the laying of the foundation stone of the first of three blocks of a total of 33 terraced houses.

Looks like the plinth is there already. No – that’s the cap to Wood’s water reservoir which fed each of thee 33 houses.

However, together with his son – John Wood the Younger – he left behind some of the city’s architectural showpieces –  including the majestic Royal Crescent and Queen Square.

Tim Mowl is a bit of an expert on the man who he says was ‘the creator of a Georgian city.‘ He has always thought that Wood Senior should have a statue in the middle of his circular creation. The place, he says, where “Wood had planned to put a statue of King George the Second on horseback but ran out of money.”

Tim, who describes himself “an academic, writer, conservationist and sometime Bath journalist” has many books to his credit – including Architect of Obsession: John Wood and the Creation of Georgian Bath – which he did with Brian Earnshaw and Cathryn Spence.

Now he has written to say: ” I am just about to re-issue my book on John Wood, so I thought I would be in touch with a heads-up. I hope to have the book to hand in mid-May and will be promoting and marketing it myself, so any help in spreading the word would be really welcome.

The original 1988 book has been transformed with some revisions and a completely new set of illustrations.

I don’t think the real story of the inspirations behind Wood’s creation of Georgian Bath has been properly understood by many Bathonians, so this is an attempt to set that straight. And, as you know, it is a cracking good story.”

I don’t think Tim has given up on the statue either!

This is the email address for you to order the book directly  The book is being published by  Stephen Morris

1 Comment

  1. When I was chair of the Circus Area Residents Association (CARA), I promoted the idea of a memorial in the form of a low wall round the perimeter of the grassed area with a running inscription commemorating the work of the two John Woods. Would anyone like to take this forward?

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