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Thursday, 5 September 2019

Sarah's adventures in Bath part III

Day three we went to Pulteney Bridge which in the Regency was the new bridge.  Unfortunately while there my camera ceased working - turned out to be a faulty connection in the lens, not the camera - phew! the cheapest half - and not worth repairing.  Whilst consulting the very nice man in the camera shop near the Abbey I was told that there are tunnels under Bath and that there is a bricked up one in the cellar of that shop.  Anyone who knows more, I would dearly love to know.

 Some back alleys which I don't think have changed much, including Sally Lunn's cake shop
Looking to the downs on the other side of the river

Looking down into Parade, once St James's gardens

 Looking up Gt Pulteney St past Laura Place towards Sydney Gardens
 Looking across the river at the site of the old assembly rooms
pulteney bridge
the tunnel under the bridge with access to the cellars of the shops on it.

and after my camera died, thanks to Anne Seebaldt who took these from the city side of the river:

Thursday, 29 August 2019

The Regency Miss's Survival Guide to Bath

The book I have been researching for is out, and has been described by author Susana Ellis as 'Meticulously Researched'.  It's almost all from primary sources, local newspapers and extant period guidebooks.  All you need to know about travelling to Bath and living there ... between 1810 and 1820.

The Regency Miss’s Survival Guide to Bath is now available!  This book is written for Regency writers and readers alike who love the romance of Bath. It is not a history of Bath, nor its famous sons, it is a book about the everyday things a Regency Heroine might get up to, and what entertainments were available for her delight.
I laboured long and hard to put hyperlinks in the kindle version, I hope I have covered every link needed!



Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Sarah's adventures in Bath part II

On the second day we took a taxi all the way up to the Royal Crescent and walked down, via the Circus, past the assembly room and down Milsom Street.  I would have liked to have gone poking around the back of the Royal Crescent as I have been told that though the fronts are uniform, the backs are all different, but I knew my limitations.
Unfortunately there are all the cars and the scaffolding on the one being repaired, but it gives some idea.

Looking across the wonderful green in front of the royal crescent; I think this is Marlborough Buildings

Number 1 is a museum.  I looked at the steps and quailed, and we did not go round it this time.  One of the things on my wishlist for next time.

this is as wide an angle as I could get on the circus without it getting really distorted

it's circular and they all look like this ....

The road leading to the Upper AssemblyRooms goes off sort of 1/3 of the way around from the road leading to the royal cresent. It's called Bennett St.  Inspiration much, Miss Austen?

the upper assembly rooms
We didn't get downstairs to the museum of fashion either; another one to go on my wish list.  Opposite this face is the back of some of the houses in the circus:

now to my mind these backs are grand enough to be fronts!  I'd love to have the view from those upper windows which I think if I have my orientation correct is off towards Lansdown.
in the vestibule.  I did my best with the interior shots; sorry they are not better
the great octagonal card playing room. those open doors are opposite the door from the vestibule into where they now have refreshments; the photo is from the door into the ballroom. 

the ballroom.  I made it 44 candles per candelabrum and 5 of them, and 4 candles to the pound for the long ones for a ball  so 55 shillings per ball; call it three quid, not even considering the candles in the other rooms. In perspective an upper servant earned £25 a year. there were two balls a week.
the ballroom ceiling
the balcony, I presume for the band.

the tea room; there was some sort of children's craft activity in here so we didn't stay
after leaving the assembly room we went down a little alley and found ourselves between the backs of houses where there were mews. I've never seen mews before so I was dead chuffed as they are pretty much untampered with save to have garage doors instead of coach doors.
Looking down Milsom Street.  My husband said 'that bike is an anachronism', and I said, 'no. it's a Yamaha'.
I think this is the last bow-fronted shop in the street. 
Somerset Buildings Milsom St with the central Bow
Mr Godwin's Library, I believe

By the time we got to the bottom we were hoping for a cuppa at the Jane Austen Centre; so we turned right, and trailed up the hill past Queen Square, only to find that the tea room was up 2 flights, it was closing in 5 minutes, and the museum was on various levels too, so we departed without looking around, tired, in pain, and disgruntled.  We mislaid ourselves a little bit but found ourselves outside the theatre royal, which had not been on my itinerary so that was a bonus.

the theatre royal.
And we found a nice Italian restauraunt across the square from the theatre where I discovered wild boar and pork meatballs which were incredible.  Especially to two famished and exhausted middle aged women with mobility issues and a growing case of snippy temper. 

Next, Pulteney Bridge and Parade Gardens. I regret I did not get to Sydney Gardens. Another one for next time.

Monday, 26 August 2019

Sarah's adventures in Bath part I

Well, here I am recovering from that lovely working holiday!  Three days in Bath was not enough to see everything, but was quite enough to exhaust me, especially anticipating a day trip to Brighton.  Well, I haven't got around to sorting out the Brighton photos yet, but I have sorted out the Bath ones.

I have to say, nothing I had read prepared me for the idea that the main bathhouse and the pump room were in a paved plaza by the cathedral, with an arcade at the other end of the cathedral and beyond that was once, as I understand it, the White Hart Hotel.  Now I really have an idea of how noisy it must have been - even without thinking of the dozens of coaches coming and going at all hours of day and night.

We stayed at what would have been something of the 'wrong' end of town, in Green Park, which used to be King's Mead.

It was a lovely apartment, deep squishy leather sofa and wide TV if you like that sort of thing as well as looking so delightfully period.  Jack, the landlord was very helpful and I thoroughly recommend taking an apartment here if you do stay in Bath - Sainsbury's is just up the road and if you are able bodied it's about 10 minutes walk or less to the centre of the city.  Failing that, the taxis are very good and the bus service extensive.

So, the centre of Bath:
the old Christopher hotel on the left, guildhall on the r

the guildhall

the abbey church


this and the next two are the ladder-climbing angels on the Abbey

the west front of the abbey looking towards the pump room

more angels

they go all the way up

thanks to Anne and Michelle for coming with me!

from the other side of the arcade

from the abbey looking towards the site of the White Hart, on the left the pump room

the pump; yes, I drank the waters - twice!  it's not as nasty as I was expecting, a bit metallic and salty with a whiff of sulphur, certainly nothing like as nasty as coca cola
Thanks to Anne Seebaldt for taking the photo

the pump room; the alcove for the musicians at the far end and the alcove overlooking the King's Bath where the pump is situated on the left

looking from pump room to baths

looking from baths to pump room

the bath entrance

the baths with abbey in background

under the arcade

the notorious inscription, 'water better than wine'

round the back - the entrance from opposite the white hart 

the king's bath
More another time - the Assembly Room, the Royal Crescent, the Circus and poking around back alleys