The Circus, Bath

The Circus, Bath (must see)

Originally called the King's Circus, The Circus was finished in 1768. The design was formulated by architect John Wood Sr., but he died during construction, and his son finished the project. The plaza consists of three large townhouse buildings, all forming a perfect circle at the meeting of Brock, Gay, and Bennett Streets. The name "Circus" comes from Latin and means a ring or circle.

John Wood Sr. was known for his appreciation of symbology. He admired the Druids and was convinced that Bath had been the hub of much Druid activity in Britain. As such, he studied Stonehenge and built The Circus with the same diameter. He also included many emblems in the design, with serpents, nautical symbols, acorns, and keys from masonic lore. In all, there are more than 525 pictorial emblems and symbols used. The entire design, when viewed from above, looks like a masonic key. A ley-line joins it to the Royal Crescent, which some believe represents the sun and the moon in their designs.

Many wealthy and famous have lived in The Circus over the years. Thomas Gainsborough lived here in the 1700s, and Nicolas Cage had a flat here for awhile. It's also said that if you wander the center plaza, you can find one precise point where all sound will echo.

The building is a Grade I listed building, and like many others in Bath, it is a fine example of Georgian architecture. Each level's facade is designed in a different classical order—Greek Doric, Roman Composite, and Corinthian.

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The Circus on Map

Sight Name: The Circus
Sight Location: Bath, England (See walking tours in Bath)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Bath, England

Create Your Own Walk in Bath

Create Your Own Walk in Bath

Creating your own self-guided walk in Bath is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Bath Introduction Walking Tour

Bath Introduction Walking Tour

The only English city designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, Bath is a gorgeous city packed with history. Artifacts have been found from the Bronze and Iron Age in the surrounding hills. The Romans were the first to build around the remarkable hot mineral springs at the beginning of the first century. They constructed a temple and baths here, and since then, people have flocked to Bath for its...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Historical Homes Walking Tour

Historical Homes Walking Tour

Apart from its Roman thermae, the city of Bath is renowned for its prominent residents who used to live here a long time ago. Their former dwellings – historical monuments in their own right – now offer a captivating glimpse into the city's glorious past.

Among the most famous of them, undoubtedly, is the Jane Austen Centre. This charming Georgian townhouse provides a fascinating look...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
Jane Austen Walking Tour

Jane Austen Walking Tour

Jane Austen, 1775-1817, was a renowned British author. Her groundbreaking novels offer a witty and humorous look at Regency-era life. Austen's six novels have since inspired many popular TV adaptations and films.

Jane Austen lived in Bath from 1801 to 1806. Two of her novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, were set in this beautiful Georgian city. While interiors have certainly been...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Georgian Architecture Walking Tour

Georgian Architecture Walking Tour

Another prominent attraction of Bath is its wonderful Georgian architecture. Many a street and square here are richly adorned with distinctively stylish buildings. In large part, the city owes it to two architects – father and son: John Wood, the Elder, and John Wood, the Younger. Constructed mostly from Bath Stone, a creamy limestone obtained in Combe Down and Bathampton Down Miles, these...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles