Royal Crescent, Bath, UK – Best Places to Visit
Crescent, Bath City, viewed from across the green
The Georgian style Royal Crescent was finished in 1771, the same year as the new Assembly Rooms in upper Bath, UK, were completed. It was the first “crescent” built in Great Britain and as Bath was a great social hub for 18th-century society, visitors needed an elegant place to stay.
Found at the end of Brock Street which leads off the Circus, the Crescent was designed by John Wood the Younger, the son of the architect of the Bath Circus and Brock Street, as a stately part of the Upper Town.
The foundation stone of Number 1 Royal Crescent was laid in 1767 and the house first leased to Thomas Brock in 1769. John Wood found investors and developed the land and thirty houses were built around a half -Colosseum shape with large Ionic columns set on high bases.
Purchasers had to accept the exterior design and floor levels designed by Wood but could do whatever they wanted with the interior which meant that all the interiors were different. The main reception room is at the front on the first floor and the basement has the kitchen and servants quarters. Many distinguished people have lived in these homes over the years as the Royal Crescent has beautiful views across the town & valley.
Not far from the Crescent is the the Circus, designed by John Wood the Elder, though he didn’t live to see them completed. The Circus is the same design as the Crescent and contains 3 segments of townhouses, each of equal length forming a circle. John Wood the Younger and his father were interested in the occult and Masonic symbolism so, from the air, the Crescent and the Circus form the Masonic sign of the sun and moon. Above the city is another visible Masonic symbol, the Key, made up of the Circus, Gay Street and Queens Square.
The basic concept of the Royal Crescent is evident all over Bath. Milsom Street, Kensington Place, St.James’ Square and the Circus are some examples. These groups of houses have a low pitched gable over the central house and the two end houses. Both the central house and the two end houses are built just slightly forward of the rest. Places like The Royal Crescent were referred to as Georgian Terraces. The entire street had a sense of unity. The magnificent sweep of the Royal Crescent creates a impression of a grand palace.
Grassy recreation area in front of Royal Crescent, Bath, UK
The green space below the Royal Crescent was designed so the upper classes could sit there, talk, or for other recreational activities. In middle of the green space is a slight shelf which was designed to keep cattle and sheep from invading the grassy sitting area.
Most of the apartments in the Royal Crescent are still private residences, although some have been split into smaller apartments. In the middle of the crescent is a five star hotel, Royal Crescent Hotel, and is one of only two Grade 1 listed hotels in the UK.
At one end of the crescent, The No. 1 Royal Crescent Museum has restored an entire house to the grandeur of Georgian Bath.
Georgian houses in a crescent copied from the Circus to Royal Crescent, Bath, UK
Royal Crescent, Bath, UK