Names on a Bath stone wall.

Names on a Bath stone wall.

This is the sad and neglected Georgian building in Broad Street that was – for over two hundred years – a bustling school.

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The old King Edward’s School.

It was built in 1754 to house King Edward’s School and in use through to  1990 when the last of the pupils still based there left to  join their already relocated colleagues in a move to the school’s new 14 acre North Road site.

Since then the Grade 11• listed property in the city centre has remained empty. Sold for development – plans to turn it into an hotel or pub/restaurant have so far come to nothing.

The building remains on the ‘Heritage at Risk Register’ though repair work to the roof has at least reduced the risk to the property.

Recently, I was in the car park behind York Buildings and could see the side of the old school wall above the boundary wall of the parking lot.

Etched into its surface – in very neat carved writing – are the names of various people and a range of early 20th century dates alongside them.

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The side wall of the old school building.

Are these former pupils with the dates of their time at the school alongside their names? Or maybe teachers who taught in this building?

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A closer look at some of the names carved into the Bath stone.

Perhaps someone knows more. I am sure a list of pupils from 1900 onwards would help identify some of the names carved in stone.

 

 

Show your support for the Georgian lido.

Show your support for the Georgian lido.

A end of year plea now for Bathonians to get behind a local project that will revive an important part of the city’s history and a once much-loved public facility.

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Cleveland Pools

The Cleveland Pools Trust in Bath has now applied for planning permission to finally restore its 200yr-old heritage swimming pool in Bathwick. 

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A spokesperson told me that it is vital that both the local council (B&NES) – and the Heritage Lottery Fund – see evidence of support, so the Trust is appealing to people to please get behind them today (or ideally before Christmas) using the whole of this link to log on direct:

https://isharemaps.bathnes.gov.uk/data.aspx?requesttype=parsetemplate&template=DevelopmentControlApplication.tmplt&basepage=data.aspx&Filter=^refval^=’16/05632/FUL’&history=f40718c794554c9fb49c4e6007f70d33&SearchLayer=DCApplications

Bath Newseum was told:

‘It takes one minute to fill the form and will make a HUGE difference. (Addresses only asked for to distinguish individuality).

Progress will be posted via the Trust’s Winter Newsletter on the website in the New Year.   www.clevelandpools.org.uk

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Thank you very much in anticipation.’  

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/

Have your say this week – on plans to re-open Bath’s historic Cleveland Pools

Have your say this week – on plans to re-open Bath’s historic Cleveland Pools

Many Bath locals will remember swimming in the open air Cleveland Pools with great affection. The exciting plans for the historic pools’ renovation and future use are on display for the first time this week.

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Cleveland Pools.

As part of a public consultation exercise the concept designs have been displayed at a stand in Southgate, Bath, on Monday and Tuesday this week, and then outside GAP in Milsom Street all day on Thursday 28 and Friday 29 April 2016.IMG_7915

Members of the Trust and its design team will be available to explain the thinking behind the development of the present concept design and to answer any questions.

An online survey will be available for the start of the consultation from Monday 25th April on the Trust’s website www.clevelandpools.org.uk which will include an explanation of the development of the design and a short survey form for comment.IMG_7920

Your involvement in the Public Consultation is important for two reasons:

  • To ensure that we provide the best project possible for the people of Bath;
  • To demonstrate the community’s involvement and support in developing our plans to the HLF, which will encourage them to provide a grant for the restoration work.

Project Programme: The Trust will be submitting a second stage funding application to the HLF this Autumn seeking grant funding of £3.7m. The goal is to have the pool open for swimming early in 2018.

Fundraising: the Trust needs to raise £600,000 partnership funding before January next year and has recently set up an appeal board to help reach this target. For more information about the project please look at the website or contact the Trust at info@clevelandpools.org.uk.

Go Georgian for World Heritage Day

Go Georgian for World Heritage Day

Visit Bath’s Assembly Rooms today and you might just bump into Captain Wade – the ‘Master of Ceremonies’ who organised events at this historic centre of entertainment. IMG_7574

There’s an opportunity to have a go at Georgian dancing, listen to 18th century music and join your kids in craft activities or dressing up.

It’s all part of the way in which the Rooms will be helping to celebrate World Heritage Day and Bath’s World Heritage status.IMG_7577

Every year the city celebrates World Heritage Day with an event themed around the ‘Outstanding Universal Vale’ for which Bath was inscribed back in 1987.IMG_7576

This year’s theme is the Georgian social legacy. English society changed radically in the 18th century and Bath was at the forefront of shaping the change.

The Cleveland Pools Trust  – working hard to bring about the restoration of Britain’s last remaining Georgian-built open air lido – will be amongst those exhibiting in the Great Octagon Room. Pretty easy to spot too as two of them are dressing up in Victorian bathing costumes!

Log onto www.bathworldheritage.org.uk/events for more information on what’s happening and when. There is also information on other events coming up later in the year.

Cleveland Pools dig.

Cleveland Pools dig.

 

Archaeological investigations, funded by Historic England, have just been completed in the Ladies Perpetual Shower Bath building at Bath’s historic  Cleveland Pools.

The following report – and photographs – have been supplied  by Sally Helvey who is both a trustee and in charge of marketing at The Cleveland Pools Trust.

This is a group of people who – with their supporters – are actively campaigning for the restoration of this the only surviving Georgian open air lido in the country – which is hidden away on the banks of the River Avon at Bathwick.

According to their website – http://www.clevelandpools.org.uk – ” It is historically unique and located in one of the most beautiful spots in Bath. Many thousands of local people have learned to swim here, enjoyed their weekends here, and brought their families to this idyllic place. Sadly the lido closed down in 1984.

The Cleveland Pools Trust, a registered charity, exists to restore and reclaim the pools for outdoor swimming.

And now, thanks to support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Prince’s Regeneration Trust, English Heritage and Bath & North East Somerset Council, we are part way to raising the funding to make this dream a reality. We need your help to raise the remaining £400,000 by Autumn 2016 so work can begin by the end of next year.’

Sally tells us : ‘The (recent) excavation work, carried out by Brian Gibbons and Matthew O’Donovan from Cliveden Conservation, took just over a week to complete.

The investigations took place to establish evidence of the Ladies Plunge Pool, a bath built just for women in 1817 when gentlemen had begun visiting the adjacent river-fed swimming pool with its 12 ‘changing apartments’.

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Peter Davenport, from Cotswold Archaeology.

Peter Davenport, from Cotswold Archaeology, was appointed to carry out the most delicate part of the dig and record his findings.

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The pool shape and surrounding stonework were found to be in keeping with the historic maps the Trust have of the site so Peter and the team didn’t need to dig down very far.

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The men in the group photo inside the Ladies Pool Building are (left to right): Peter Carey, chief architect on our Design Team, from Donald Insall Associates, Peter Davenport from Cotswold Archaeology Ltd, Tom Flemons from Cliveden Conservation, Cleveland Pools Project Director Christopher Heath, and Brian Gibbons from Cliveden Conservation.

When they tried, however, to find how many steps there were down into the pool, the space kept filling up with water. This is no doubt as to why the pool was called a ‘perpetual shower bath’!

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A close up of the threshold stone.

Two interesting pieces of pottery were found amongst the soil and rubble: a small undamaged ginger beer jar (or possibly an inkwell), and part of a child’s alphabet mug. Despite being buried for about 150 years, the jar is in almost perfect condition.

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Holding the ‘treasure’ is Matthew O’Donovan from Cliveden Conservation.

Also, the existence of a doorway in the west corner was confirmed when the wall cladding was taken off and part of its threshold step was found, showing wear on both sides (the square-shaped stone is between the ditch and the entrance of the Ladies Pool Building in this picture).

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The holes made are now covered over so that the Ladies Pool Building can now be reclaimed for visitors and site maintenance volunteers.’

Chopsticks and pizza for The Corridor

Chopsticks and pizza for The Corridor

Nice to see some new businesses moving into  The Corridor – Bath’s historic and late-Georgian covered shopping centre.

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The new Hai Na Oriental Supermarket that has opened in Bath’s historic Corridor.

At the Union Passage end, we’ve got a flavour of the Far East with the Hai Na Oriental Supermarket – just opened on the first and second floor  – next to the shoe repair shop.

It’s not the first of its kind in the city but does reflect – not only the size of the resident Chinese community – but the growing number of foreign students at the city’s two universities.

While on the left – towards the High Street – a pizza serving restaurant called Dough is due to open its doors very soon!

Variety is the spice of life – and new businesses are always good for foot-fall.

Pause a while and admire an early example of a shopping mall built by H.E.Goodridge in 1825. It was built as a personal speculation and used to be known as ‘Goodridge’s Corridor’ – after the architect who built it!

The Corridor

The far end of The Corridor emerges in Union Passage which was known as Cox Lane in the Middle Ages and is now  home to a host of small businesses.

It remains as a ‘shadow’ of how it would have felt to be in amongst the narrow trading streets of Medieval Bath.