In search of Bath chairs.

In search of Bath chairs.

The return – after conservation work –  of at least one of the original sedan chairs to its usual resting place in Bath’s Assembly Rooms has prompted some of you to set me looking for others in the city.

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The newly conserved sedan chair is positioned just outside the ballroom.

Sally Helvey tells me she remembers seeing one at the Royal Crescent Hotel – which l did manage to find tucked under a staircase – and was kindly allowed to photograph. No one seems to know much about its history.

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The sedan chair at the Royal Crescent Hotel.

The hotel has changed hands several times and this now rather faded example of Bath’s Georgian glory – sort of came with the furniture. It would be nice if it could be restored.

Bath’s much-loved Mineral Water Hospital – now better known at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases – has its own example – according to Bath Newseum follower Elizabeth Davies.

sedan chair

The sedan chair at the Mineral Water Hospital

It’s a surviving example of the hospital sedan chairs designed and built in the early 1700’s to ferry patients to and from the bath sites.

As if these were not enough, the relatively new Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel has a beauty of it’s own.

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The Turin-made sedan chair on display at the Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel.

It’s a Turin Portantina and one of around 50 known to exist of this shape – the fourth most common style surviving in Europe. The chair – made in Turin around 1745 – has a low pole height to help increase  ground clearance to help negotiate flights of steps and hills or mountains.

This chair is on permanent loan from Mr Stephen Loft-Simpson who is a sedan chair specialist based in Bristol. Check out his website on www.sedanchair.co.uk

Please let Bath Newseum know if you spot another sedan chair somewhere else!

 

5 star opening for Gainsborough Hotel.

5 star opening for Gainsborough Hotel.

The Mayor of Bath Cllr William Sandry had a five-star dinner to look forward to this week – with the official opening of the luxury Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel in Beau Street.

The flags are up above the Beau Street entrance to the new Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel. Click on images to enlarge.

The flags are up above the Beau Street entrance to the new Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel. Click on images to enlarge.

It’s owned by YTL a Malaysian-based group who have a whole collection of luxury ‘spa resorts’ around the world.

They also manage Bath’s Thermae Spa and own Wessex Water.

This new five-star hotel offers its own supply of natural thermal water and has a display of some of the silver coins that made up the Beau Street Hoard.

It’s the fifth largest hoard ever found in Britain and the largest ever discovered in a British Roman town.

The first handful from the hoard which is now known to contain 17,500 coins.

The first handful from the hoard which is now known to contain 17,500 coins.

They were discovered on the site of the hotel’s new pool.

The 17,577 coins span the period from 32BC to 274AD and were found in eight separate money bags which were fused together.

The hoard now belongs to Bath and many coins are on display at the Roman Baths Museum.

The Gainsborough – open for business on July the First.

The Gainsborough – open for business on July the First.

The Gainsborough Bath Spa

The Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel. Click on images to enlarge.

Well the word on the street is that Bath’s newest five-star hotel is going to open for business on the First of July after a multi-million pound conversion of one of the city’s historic buildings in what has now become known as the Spa Quarter.

The Gainsborough's proposed Spa Village Pool

The Gainsborough’s proposed Spa Village Pool

Behind the Grade 11 listed facade of The Gainsborough Bath Spa lie 99 luxurious guest rooms and suites and the only natural thermal spa you will find in a UK hotel.

This 19th century building started life as the United Hospital and opened in 1826. It later became the city’s Technical School and lay empty until bought up by YTL – an international company that specialises in luxury spa hotels around the world.

It’s my understanding that staff are now actively being recruited and there are going to be a couple of months of hard training and familiarization before the hotel opens for business.

Gainsborough to get July opening.

Gainsborough to get July opening.

The Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel

The Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel

Bath’s newest 5-star hotel – the Gainsborough Bath Spa – is finally due to open this July.

That’s according to Martin Clubbe – the man who has already been appointed General Manager to run it.

The Virtual Museum noticed the hotel now has an impressive web-site up and running.

You can check it out on www.thegainsboroughbathspa.co.uk

Behind this Grade 11 listed Georgian facade – in a building originally constructed as a hospital for Bath poor – will be 99 luxury guest rooms and suites and the only natural thermal spa within a hotel in the United Kingdom.

The images on the website – l was not allowed to use any of them at this time – really do give you an idea of just how opulent the interior will be.

The Gainsborough's proposed Spa Village Pool

The Gainsborough’s proposed Spa Village Pool

An artist’s impression of the spa facilities is though already in the public realm. The website says the hotel’s Bath House will allow guests to ‘take the waters in luxury’ – ‘tapping into the original Roman Bath springs.’

The luxury hotel joins what is now known as the ‘Spa Quarter’ of Bath and sees an historical building saved for the future.

It’s owned by YTL – a Malaysian-based company that specialises in luxury spa resorts and which now manages the Bath Therma Spa and owns Wessex Water.

The new display featuring coins from the Beau Street Hoard.

The new display featuring coins from the Beau Street Hoard.

The new Gainsborough is also the site of the discovery of the Beau Street Hoard – a wealth of coinage – covering the whole four hundred years of Roman occupation – found deliberately hidden under the floor of a Roman villa discovered by archaeologists checking out an area scheduled for the hotel’s extension.

Some of the coins are now on display at the Roman Baths nearby.