More information on that mystery market wall.

More information on that mystery market wall.

Dan Brown – who founded Bath’s amazing archive photographs facility – Bath In Time – has sent me the following:

“Popped into the hardware stall in the Guildhall market and for the first time noticed the strip of polished stone passing through the shop.

guildhall market

Is this the line of the old city wall? Photograph © Dan Brown

I asked a member of staff if he knew what it was and he said it is the top of the city wall and he has to keep it exposed at all times. It certainly leads in the direction of the East Gate and I have no reason to doubt him.

You learn something every day, I had absolutely no idea.”

Meanwhile, Dan has shown the image to local historian and writer Mike Chapman who had much more to say on the subject.

Says Mike: ‘As you say, it points in the right direction southwards towards the East Gate and could be near the height of the parapet wall. However, the curve is suspicious and points northward towards the top of Bridge Street rather than Slippery Lane where it is still visible.

My guess is that this is not the actual wall but one built above it by Baldwin when he erected the covered market behind the new Guildhall. This might then be a survival of one of Baldwin’s partition walls which were laid out in ‘crescents’ between the different provision areas – replaced in the 1860s by the present 12-sided building.

The stall-holder was presumably alerted by Derek Rowe from Property Services who carried out a survey of cellars in the city some ten years ago, before we knew about the wall in Slippery Lane. Whatever the case, it is definitely a feature which should be preserved.”

See Dan Brown’s amazing archive library via

The Bernina remembered

The Bernina remembered

I have been talking about an official handbook published in 1923 which features up to date information on all the excavations that had taken place since 1878 around the original Roman baths complex.

You can find the article – under History and Heritage – and called “Bath Uncovered.’IMG_4848

I spend some time discussing the Bath businesses who took out advertising space in the catalogue – including one for The Bernina – which was ‘Bath’s beautiful Swiss cafe’ which even made its own chocolates!

The Bernina in Old Bond Street 1966  © Bath In Time

The Bernina in Old Bond Street 1966
© Bath In Time

My thanks to Dan Brown from Bath In Time for telling me he has several images of the business which was still in existence in Old Bond Street in 1966 when one of the photographs was taken. You can link to his site here…

A touch of glass.

A touch of glass.

It certainly says 'Stothert'

It certainly says ‘Stothert’

Popped into the Guildhall yesterday to check out the fireplaces in the banqueting room.

Dan Brown of suggested l take a look after l had commented upon the local industrial name of Stothert being stamped on the front of an oven door in the kitchen of the new No 1 Royal Crescent Georgian house display.IMG_4106

Seems before Stothert teamed with former apprentice engineer Pitt to go on into crane production, the family did fireplaces too.

The name was clearly stamped but not so clearly in my fuzzy picture.

Two down and one to go!

Two down and one to go!

It was all because l was excited to find the chandeliers in the vast room being cleaned by the same company who look after the cut-crystal at the Assembly Rooms.

IMG_4108 The guys from Brotheridge Chandeliers of Skelmersdale tell me it takes a whole day to deal with each of the huge hanging lights.

The room has got to be one of Bath’s most magnificent interiors. The Guildhall was finally constructed by Thomas Baldwin from 1776.