Paradise launch for John Wood book.

Would you believe it, last night l thought l had died and gone to heaven! I was visiting Belcombe Court – described on its website as ‘an intimate country escape on the edge of Bradford on Avon in Wiltshire.’

This stunning Grade 1 listed Georgian house – and its amazing landscaped gardens – are a joy to behold but, would you believe it, in the early 18th century the Yerbury family were running the buildings that existed then as a factory – producing superfine cloth – and becoming wealthy clothiers in the process.

That money paid for the Palladian additions which were designed by John Wood – a man better known for his grand architectural set-pieces in Bath.

It was all the more reason then that Professor Timothy Mowl should choose this beautiful location to launch a new and more colourful edition of a book he had written about this Bath-born ‘visionary’ who he says doesn’t deserve the geriatric title of ‘John Wood the Elder’ by which he is known.

Tim says: “He was the Chatterton and the Mozart of English architects, projecting his Imperial Bath when he was only 21 and completing half his best work before he was thirty.”

Only known image of John Wood (the Elder)

His ‘elder’ title of course differentiates him from his son – John Wood the Younger – who actually built The Circus to his father’s design and then added Royal Crescent at the other end of Brock Street.

Time to meet Tim.

The designated email address for buying the book is

The price is £35 plus £5 for P & P. Tim will invoice and then send it out once payment has been made by BACS.

Tim gives some of his invited guests a tour of the gardens.

Tim says he has already received a donation towards his dream of erecting a statue of John Wood in The Circus. If you want to offer support then contact him through the same email address.

For more information about Belcombe Court – where the house, a wonderful tithe barn, and the grounds are available to hire for events such as weddings – go to

Anthony Gormley’s statue looks back at Belcombe Court.

IF Opera are also returning to the beautiful grounds of Belcombe Court this year for a summer season.

Find out more via