Classic look at architecture – in miniature.

Classic look at architecture – in miniature.

The city’s iconic Royal Crescent is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year and – as part of a whole year full of special events – Bath Preservation Trust have just opened a special exhibition which features classical architecture in miniature.

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Guests admiring some of the models on display.

From Rome to the Royal Crescent traces the evolution of classical architecture from the ancient monuments of Rome, through the innovation of the Renaissance to the modern designs of 18th century Britain through the beautiful work of model maker Timothy Richards.

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Timothy Richards was on hand to answer questions about his models on display.

When the foundation stone was laid for the Royal Crescent in 1767 British architecture was dominated by a passion for Palladianism.

A fashionable style for both grand country houses and city structures, 18th century Palladianism was inspired by the buildings of ancient Greece and Rome as interpreted by Renaissance architects such as Andrea Palladio.

Through highly detailed models of some the key buildings in this story of stylistic development, this exhibition will reveal why the iconic Royal Crescent looks the way it does.

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Villa Rotonda – one of Timothy’s exquisite models.

Based in Bath, Timothy Richards specialises in telling the story of architecture through model making and has spent over 25 years refining his craft. The workshop has completed over 150 projects for both private and public commissioners.

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Another part of the display at No 1 Royal Crescent.

The exhibition is being held at No 1 Royal Crescent through to June 4th.  Bath Newseum spoke to its curator, Dr Amy Frost, during a special preview evening.

Find out more about the skills and processes behind the extraordinary work of Tim and his team of craftsmen at www.timothyrichardscommissions.com or visit this unique workshop.

Discover more  information about opening times at No 1 Royal Crescent  via  http://no1royalcrescent.org.uk/events/

From Rome to the Royal Crescent.

From Rome to the Royal Crescent.

Models of classical buildings tell the story of architecture from Rome to the Royal Crescent in Bath

From Rome to the Royal Crescent launches a special year for Bath, celebrating the 250th anniversary of the Royal Crescent.  It is an exhibition at No. 1 Royal Crescent, tracing the evolution of classical architecture from the ancient monuments of Rome, through the innovation of the Renaissance to the modern designs of 18th century Britain through the beautiful work of Bath-based model maker Timothy Richards.

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Royal Crescent – view of a model made by Bath-based model maker Timothy Richards.

His intricate models include a perfect replica of the Royal Crescent itself reflecting its monumental proportions and classical façade.

When the foundation stone was laid for the Royal Crescent in May 1767 British architecture was dominated by a passion for Palladianism.  A fashionable style for both grand country houses and city structures, 18th century Palladianism was inspired by the buildings of ancient Greece and Rome as interpreted by Renaissance architects such as Andrea Palladio, the Italian stone mason from Vicenza who became the most influential architect in the Western world. Through highly detailed models of some of the key buildings in this story of stylistic development, this exhibition will reveal why the iconic Royal Crescent looks the way it does.

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Queens House, Greenwich – another perfect replica by Timothy Richards.

Timothy Richards says:

Children love models and react in a fundamental way. They, like us, are delighted by beauty and this exhibition is about beauty. The unique plaster models tell a simple story well, giving not only an understanding of a journey but also revealing the art of great architecture and our abiding love affair and debt to Italy and Rome.”

Great models combine not only passion and understanding but also something of the real building; an art form in their own right.’  

Based in Bath, Timothy Richards specialises in telling the story of architecture through model making and has spent over 25 years refining his craft. The workshop has completed over 150 projects for both private and public commissioners.

In 2013, Richards won the Arthur Ross Award, the US Institute of Classical Architecture and Art prize for artisanship in the classical tradition.

Find out more about the skills and processes behind the extraordinary work of Tim and his team of craftsmen at www.timothyrichardscommissions.com or visit this unique workshop.

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The Pantheon in Rome – as modelled by Timothy Richards.

  

FACTS

Exhibition: From Rome to the Royal Crescent

Dates: 11 February until 4 June 2017

Location: No. 1 Royal Crescent, Bath, BA1 2LR

Free with admission to the museum: Adult £10; Child £4; Family £22

http://www.no1royalcrescent.org.uk

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An aerial view of Bath featuring the Royal Crescent and Circus.

Be Social: #RoyalCrescent250 @No1Museum

#RoyalCrescent250 celebratory events continue all year, with further exhibitions, debates, community events, guided walks and artworks exploring the enduring power of a single building. Primarily focused in and around Bath Preservation Trust’s three city-centre museums, there are also activities in partnerships with Bath Festivals, RIBA South West and The Natural Theatre Company.

Bath’s 2017 is going to be Crescent shaped.

Bath’s 2017 is going to be Crescent shaped.

On May 19th, 1767 the foundation stone was laid for the construction of what many would now consider to be Bath’s most iconic Georgian building.

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So 2017  has a 250th anniversary to celebrate and – thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund award and other donations – Bath Preservation Trust – in collaboration with other cultural organisations – will be leading a whole host of walks, talks, exhibitions and free public events to mark this architectural date in history.

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News of the foundation stone being laid from the Bath Chronicle.

Caroline Kay, Chief Executive of the Trust, outlined plans at an informal meeting of representatives of other cultural organisations, held at the Holburne Museum.

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The informal gathering at the Holburne Museum getting a briefing on next year’s anniversary plans.

She is anxious to encourage other bodies to come on board and maybe work in some reference to the Royal Crescent in whatever programme of events they may be planning for next year.

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The 250th anniversary logo

She also unveiled the logo the Trust will be using to promote the planned celebrations – which also coincide with the 30th anniversary of Bath’s inscription by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

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Bath Preservation Trust Chief Executive Caroline Kay unveils the 250th anniversary logo for the Royal Crescent.

There is much to be finalised and an official launch in the New Year – once the exact HLF funding has been determined  – but here is a rough idea of some of what is in store from a  Bath Preservation Trust briefing:

“No other building represents the architectural innovation, social identity and creative imagination of Georgian Britain better than the Royal Crescent in Bath.  The foundation stone for this masterpiece of 18th century design was laid on 19th May 1767 and since then it has become one of the most famous buildings in Britain. 

It stands as a doorway through which the history of the Georgian period can be discovered and the architecture of the future inspired. 

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Via exhibitions, debates, events and artworks the museums of Bath Preservation Trust will lead a year-long city-wide celebration of the Royal Crescent’s 250th anniversary – which also coincides with the 30th anniversary of Bath’s inscription by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Working in collaboration with other cultural organisations the celebrations will include over 70 events so far with lectures, walks, workshops and film screenings. There will be concerts and illuminations – even a grand parade.

I will keep Bath Newseum followers in the picture, but do also keep an eye on the Bath Preservation Trust website http://www.bath-preservation-trust.org.uk/http://www.bath-preservation-trust.org.uk/

Help shape our housing & transport future.

Help shape our housing & transport future.

People in the West of England are being urged to take the opportunity to shape the area’s housing and transport provision for the next 20 years by participating in a major consultation that starts next week [Monday, 9 November].

Leaders of the area’s four local authorities today encouraged residents to give their views on emerging options for the provision of new homes and associated infrastructure.

New homes at Bath's Western Riverside.

New homes at Bath’s Western Riverside.

The West of England needs to plan for more homes if it is to meet the area’s growing need for housing and continue to be economically successful. It has been calculated that the area will need 85,000 new homes by 2036. With 56,000 currently planned or approved, options as to where a further 29,000 homes could be built are being explored.

This plan is about delivering the homes needed for future generations: affordable, well-designed, well-located and well-connected.

The options are part of councils’ emerging Joint Spatial Plan and Transport Study which form the basis of their consultation to shape the development of housing, employment space, transport and infrastructure provision until 2036.

They have been set out on a series of indicative maps for people to examine during the three-month consultation. Although all options are up for discussion and debate, partners agree that the focus for new housing should be on previously developed land to minimise the need for developing green space.
Leaders from each of the four local authorities welcomed the launch of the public consultation.

Cllr Tim Warren Leader of B&NES.

Cllr Tim Warren
Leader of B&NES.

Cllr Tim Warren, Leader of Bath and North East Somerset Council, said: “We want to ensure that as many people as possible give us their views to ensure our plans reflect what is deliverable, address local issues and reflect local opinion. We need to focus on using brownfield sites – alongside delivering affordable housing, jobs, and supporting infrastructure for our growing communities.”

George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol, said: “My ultimate goal is to make Bristol one of the world’s most liveable cities. It is, therefore, encouraging that we are working as a city region, planning across local authority boundaries to deliver the affordable housing, land for business growth and the necessary transport and community infrastructure we need to create sustainable communities.

“We need to do this whilst protecting our natural environment both within the city and in the surrounding areas. This consultation is a great opportunity for people from across the West of England to find out more about the possible options and let us know what they think, and I look forward to hearing people’s views.”

Cllr Nigel Ashton, Leader of North Somerset Council, said: “The role of the Green Belt in maintaining the separation of settlements and in defining the character of local communities is highly valued by our residents. The council’s strong preference is to continue to protect the Green Belt as an effective long-term approach to managing development while supporting the need for accelerated housing delivery in sustainable locations.

“I urge residents to get involved and help shape the future of the area by making their views known during the consultation process.”

Cllr Matthew Riddle, Leader of South Gloucestershire Council, said: “We want to build a better future for our children, to ensure they have the same or better access to homes and jobs we have now. At the same time, we want to protect our environment and prioritise development close to supporting infrastructure.

“Together, we can do both. We should not shy away from this, but take the initiative and tackle these issues now, so that people in every part of the region and future generations can enjoy a sustainable future. The plan sets out an ambitious 20-year vision for getting housing built at a pace that meets local need and is affordable, whilst maintaining and building places that communities are proud to call their home.”

In line with national policy, brownfield development is to be prioritised over encroachment into the Green Belt wherever possible, preserving and promoting the quality of environment that the West of England enjoys.

The West of England Joint Plan consultation will open to the public on Monday 9 November and people have until January next year to tell the councils what they think of the proposals set out by housing and transport officers for discussion.

People can get involved by:
· Checking out the detail on the website http://www.jointplanningwofe.org.uk which contains information about the options, and the various ways that people can leave their views.
· Emailing comments or enquiries to comment@jointplanningwofe.org.uk
· Sending written comments to West of England Joint Planning Consultation
c/o South Gloucestershire Council, PO Box 299, Corporate Research and Consultation Team, Civic Centre, High Street, Kingswood, Bristol, BS15 0DR
· Attending one of a series of local events which will take place across the West of England over the coming weeks. Details are available from the website http://www.jointplanningwofe.org.uk
· Following a dedicated Twitter feed @WEJointPlanning which will provide updates on the consultation process and give your views using the #WEbuildourfuture hashtag.

The draft Joint Spatial Plan will be published in autumn 2016, and finally submitted to government in 2017. It could be formally adopted in early 2018.

For your information:
The West of England’s local authorities are committed to providing the homes and transport that the area needs. They are looking to plan for the future to help the area meet its housing and transport needs over the next 20 years and are starting the process by sharing information about various options about where housing and infrastructure could be provided.

The end result will be a locally-created plan that will be used by local authorities to guide housing, employment space and transport provision in their areas until 2036.

It is estimated 85,000 new homes are needed in the West of England area over the next 20 years. Of this, 56,000 homes are already “planned and predicted” – i.e. they are in projects with existing site allocations, sites with planning permissions, sites that are known to be ready for allocation or small sites likely to get planning permission.

Partners’ collective ambition is to drive sustainable economic growth and maintain a quality of life for people who live and work here. Providing the homes and infrastructure at the right level is an essential part of delivering this.

The area under consideration is the Wider Bristol Housing Market Area, and while Bath has its own Housing Market Area, it recognises the mutual benefits of working with its neighbours to deliver a plan across boundaries that will allow each authority to maintain the characteristics that make each special.
More information about the plan can be found at: www.jointplanningwofe.org.uk

Water is Best.

Water is Best.

Water is Best - in Ancient Greek.

‘Water is Best’ – in Ancient Greek. Click on images to enlarge.

We’ve been talking about Bath making more of its natural water heritage. Celebrating cold springs – and the meandering River Avon – as well as its thermal attractions.

I said Bath had put a banner headline high above the heads of the 4.8 million day tourists who visit the city each year.

Just below the proscenium arch on the Pump Room facade it says ‘Water is Best!’ – only it’s written in ancient Greek.

The Rebecca Fountain.

The Rebecca Fountain.

Well l had forgotten that there is another pro-water statement. Only this time you’ll have to bend down to see it.

It’s written – in English – on the base of the Rebecca (at the well) Fountain on the north side of Bath Abbey and facing Orange Grove.

'Water is best' - it says on the base.

‘Water is best’ – it says on the base.

It was erected by Bath Temperance Association in 1861 and ‘faced off’ all the ale-houses in the High Street.

It’s a white Sicilian marble statue and basin sitting on arcaded piers and looking a little like a church font.

Water hasn’t always continuously flowed from her pitcher over the years – and the fountain has been terribly vandalised – but it’s good to know she is now in working order and here the water of Bath is celebrated again.

I wonder how many meetings – how many stories – have begun or ended at her base

Wake up to water!

Wake up to water!

The Greek inscription you can see just below the pediment on the Pump Room facade.

The Greek inscription you can see just below the pediment on the Pump Room facade.

You would think that a city whose fortunes have revolved around its springs and water courses would be doing more to celebrate the fact.

Well, you may not know this but Bath’s public acknowledgement of its aquatic attributes IS written in gilded letters of gold – high on the Pump Room facade.

The problem is – it’s in ancient Greek! A quote from Pindar the Poet extolls that of all the elements, ‘water is best!’

The gilded letters spell out that water is best!

The gilded letters spell out that water is best!

The Virtual Museum of Bath has always been keen on persuading those in authority to do more to rejoice in Bath’s plentiful supply of hot and cold waters.

It’s keen to see more in the way of fountains and water features around this World Heritage city.

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Looking up the River Avon towards Pulteney Bridge and Weir.

One that has only just woken up to the benefits of promoting the River Avon that flows at – and in the past – over its gates.

So it’s good to welcome a sort of ‘comrade-in-arms’ – a local architect who earlier this year won the Royal Institute of British Architect’s Imagine Bath competition.

It was a competition which called upon the public and professionals to think up transformative ideas for the city and attracted nearly one hundred entries.

Rob Delius, who is Head of Sustainable Design at Stride Treglown, was looking at visual ways in which the city could make more of its prize assets and use them to attract even more visitors to the city.

Now his winning entry – along with some other imaginative ideas which were highly commended – is likely to be discussed in greater detail in a soon-to-be-held meeting with B&NES.

The Virtual Museum went along to talk to Rob at his company’s Bath office in Oldfield Park.

Bath Abbey Bake attracts record crowd.

Bath Abbey Bake attracts record crowd.

Plenty of customers for the Bath Abbey Bake sale. Click on images to enlarge.

Plenty of customers for the Bath Abbey Bake sale. Click on images to enlarge.

Bath Abbey held another Great Bath Bake Sale on Saturday to raise over £2,000  for the church and other charities – and to honour the Great Bath Feast Festival.

The Abbey was swamped with food thanks to the generosity of community groups, businesses and school children from all around the city.

The North Aisle was packed full of stall after stall of cakes, pies, buns and savoury delights.

A chance to win a Christmas Cake.

A chance to win a Christmas Cake.

The event was open to members of the public of all ages and offered the chance to sit and enjoy a slice of cake in one of the most architecturally inspiring and atmospheric churches in the country.

All proceeds from the Bake Sale go towards Bath Abbey’s Footprint project, plus charities Bath FareShare and Bath FoodCycle.

The event’s special guest was Alan Barrett, who has produced show-stopping cakes for London’s West End and who impressed people with his sugar craft skills – producing thirty bouquets of intricate flower arrangements.

The Virtual Museum popped in early on Saturday – to see exactly how the Abbey had added another ingredient –  a temporary one – to what makes it a ‘feast’ for the eyes!

Katie McGill, Bath Abbey’s Fundraising Administrator, said after the event: “It’s been such a fantastic day. I have been humbled by the level of support shown for the Abbey and our Footprint Project. It’s been lovely to see so many friendly faces from our local community at this year’s bake sale. This is just the boost everyone needed to take us through the final few months of fundraising for Footprint.”

We would like to say a special thank you to all the businesses who contributed their produce for our Best of Bath table: Sally Lunn’s, Made by Ben and Bickie Boo. And to our congregation and the community groups who gave not only their bakes but their time on the day: Bath Abbey Mother’s Union, Bath Spa University, University of Bath, City of Bath Bach Choir, Piano Shop Bath, Bonhams Auctioneers, Advanced Studies in England, St Andrews primary School and former Home Economics teacher Linda Turner.

Laura Brown, Footprint Appeal Director, said: “It has been incredible to open our doors to the city’s community and be flooded with this level of generosity. Since last year’s Great Bath Bake Sale, we have made a fantastic amount of progress on our Footprint Project and are now in the final months of fundraising before our next application to the Heritage Lottery Fund. If all goes well, we could start work as soon as next summer. We have come such a long way, but we need to keep pushing to get us over the next few hurdles.

Big displays of fund-raising produce.

Big displays of fund-raising produce.

Katie McGill, Bath Abbey’s Fundraising Administrator, said after the event: “It’s been such a fantastic day. I have been humbled by the level of support shown for the Abbey and our Footprint Project. It’s been lovely to see so many friendly faces from our local community at this year’s bake sale. This is just the boost everyone needed to take us through the final few months of fundraising for Footprint.”

We would like to say a special thank you to all the businesses who contributed their produce for our Best of Bath table: Sally Lunn’s, Made by Ben and Bickie Boo. And to our congregation and the community groups who gave not only their bakes but their time on the day: Bath Abbey Mother’s Union, Bath Spa University, University of Bath, City of Bath Bach Choir, Piano Shop Bath, Bonhams Auctioneers, Advanced Studies in England, St Andrews primary School and former Home Economics teacher Linda Turner.

Laura Brown, Footprint Appeal Director, said: “It has been incredible to open our doors to the city’s community and be flooded with this level of generosity. Since last year’s Great Bath Bake Sale, we have made a fantastic amount of progress on our Footprint Project and are now in the final months of fundraising before our next application to the Heritage Lottery Fund. If all goes well, we could start work as soon as next summer. We have come such a long way, but we need to keep pushing to get us over the next few hurdles.
All this puts a massive strain on the building – we are bursting at the seams! The floor is slowly collapsing, space is severely restricted, and the building is struggling to cope with the huge numbers of people who use the Abbey every day.

Our vision for Footprint is to maintain and make the most of what we have in order to continue inspiring all for hundreds of years to come. And what better way to bring people together in aid of this good cause, than over a slice of cake?”

For your information:

Bath Abbey needs to raise a significant amount of matched funding in order to unlock £10 million allocated by the Heritage Lottery Funding towards the Footprint Project – a £19.3 million building programme. The project will introduce an innovative eco-friendly underfloor heating system using Bath’s famous hot springs as a source of energy, as well as create 200 sq metres of additional space and improve facilities to ensure the Abbey is more hospitable and usable for the half a million people who pass through our doors every year.