Another attraction for Sydney Gardens

[The sphere and garden before Box blight killed the hedging]

Confirmation this morning that a much-loved Bath memorial – celebrating its connections with an important period in Australia’s history – is on the move.

It concerns the Admiral Arthur Phillip Armillary Sphere tribute sculpture and Memorial which is currently located beside the Assembly Rooms.

The sphere in what was its memorial garden.

It was installed as a centre piece within a garden dedicated to the man who led that ‘First Fleet’ of transported convicts and civilians to New South Wales and became the first governor of this recently formed colony on the other side of the world.

Admiral Phillip

Admiral Phillip retired to Bath and ended his days in a house across the road from the Assembly Rooms. The memorial to him was unveiled in 2012 to mark the 200th anniversary of his death.

Now, however, the area is needed for what l believe is an extension to catering facilities at the Assembly Rooms which is being redeveloped by the National Trust – who own it – as a “Georgian Experience.”

The sphere IS going to Sydney Gardens – as revealed by Bath Newseum some time ago.

I have heard from Keith Newton who is the Chairman of the West Country Branch of the Britain-Australian Society – and the people who worked with B&NES Heritage Services to create and unveil the memorial.

He tells me:

“I confirm that the memorial is to be relocated from the Bath Assembly Room Gardens to a new location in Sydney Gardens.

Given the National Trust’s ownership of the Assembly Rooms, we were always aware they may wish to change the usage of the site, which they are now doing as part of their development plans for the entire Assembly Rooms building and surroundings.

Where the sphere could be placed. An area just inside the gates across from the Roasted Lemon Cafe

Although the current location of the memorial is excellent, given Phillip’s connection to the Assembly Room and being across from his house in Bennet St, we are pleased about the new location in Sydney Gardens as it will allow more direct public access to the Memorial itself, including its detailed inscriptions describing Phillip and his leadership of the remarkable voyage of the First Fleet to Australia, and to the sundial function of the armillary, which can tell the time in and Bath and in Sydney, Australia. 

The hedging in the garden was removed after catching Box blight.

We have worked with B&NES Heritage Services, the National Trust, Bath Parks and Gardens, the Friends of the Sydney Gardens, and with the internationally renowned David Harber, who designed and built the Armillary Sphere, to select Sydney Gardens as an appropriate setting for the Memorial and to identify a location within the gardens.

At the present we are seeking a quote from a locally based contractor to undertake the relocation, working together with David Harber and his staff.

The exact timing of the work and plans for an event to commemorate the Memorial’s reinstatement have not been finalised.”