Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!

Georgian Architecture Buildings Tour (Self Guided), Bath

Central Bath is well known for its wonderful Georgian architecture. Many streets and squares were designed by famous architects John Wood, the Elder and his son John Wood, the Younger. This tour takes you through such architectural masterpieces as the Circus, Royal Crescent, Queen Square, Pulteney Bridge and more. Many buildings in Bath were built from the creamy Bath stone, obtained from the limestone Combe Down and Bathampton Down Miles, which belonged to Ralph Allen.
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Georgian Architecture Buildings Tour Map

Guide Name: Georgian Architecture Buildings Tour
Guide Location: England » Bath (See other walking tours in Bath)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles
Author: rose
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Somerset Place
  • Lansdown Crescent
  • Camden Crescent
  • Royal Crescent
  • The Circus
  • Queen Square
  • Bath Assembly Rooms
  • Paragon
  • Pulteney Bridge
Somerset Place

1) Somerset Place

Somerset Place is one of many fine examples of Georgian architecture within the city of Bath. Less renowned than the nearby Royal Crescent, the crescent remains a jewel in the city’s impressive collection of Georgian streets and buildings. Somerset Place, collectively regarded as a Grade I listed building, is situated close to Bath Spa University, among the hills that lie to the north of the city centre. It is accessible from central Bath via a No. 2 bus, or a brisk uphill walk out of the city centre along Broad Street and Lansdown Road, following directions to the university campus.

Somerset Place is a sweeping crescent of adjoining Georgian town houses, designed by renowned architect John Eveleigh. Building work on Somerset Place began in 1790 but following Eveleigh’s bankruptcy was not completed until 1820. The buildings still maintain their original Georgian façade to this day, despite damage inflicted by German bombs during the Second World War. Today the buildings are largely used as student accommodation for the nearby university, and make a worthwhile addition to any walking tour of the elegant streets and crescents north of the city centre. Previously a part of the university campus, they are now privately owned.
Lansdown Crescent

2) Lansdown Crescent

Lansdown Crescent is one of the finest examples of Bath’s architectural trademark – the sweeping, impeccably preserved Georgian crescents dotted around the city’s Georgian suburbs. These crescents are located on the hills north of Bath’s historic city centre. Lansdown Crescent lies further afield than its more famous counterpart, the Royal Crescent, and requires a fifteen minute walk along a series of ever steepening roads from the city centre. When you arrive, however, the extra exertion proves to be worthwhile – as the crescent looks over a truly spectacular view of the city, nestled in the valley below.

Designed by renowned architect John Palmer, Lansdown Crescent was constructed during Bath’s boom years, and was completed in 1793. Comprising twenty houses, it is a Grade I listed building. The large spherical green lying next to the crescent of houses is, improbably enough, occasionally used for grazing sheep. Lansdown Crescent sums up Bath’s two sides – a hilly, isolated country town with a rich urban architectural history. The twin highlights of its sweeping façade and the view it looks onto make it a natural conclusion to a tour of the other Georgian architecture north of the city centre, including the Royal Crescent, the Circus and the nearby Somerset Place.
Camden Crescent

3) Camden Crescent

Camden Crescent is located just off Lansdown Road, the main route from the city center into the historic northern suburbs of Bath. The crescent stands on the edge of Margaret’s Hill, an impossibly steep slope that leads down to the A4 and the River Avon beyond. From the ornate railings opposite the main row of houses, visitors can expect a stunning view of the river below, following a brief if steep walk from the eastern edges of the city center. Camden Crescent appears to be perched almost precariously at the edge of the hill, and this perilous placement has lent it a unique architectural feature.

Designed in 1788 by John Eveleigh, Camden Crescent once descended slightly down the hill to the East. A landslide in 1889 caused nine houses to collapse at the eastern end of the crescent, and they were never replaced. As a result, the Grade I listed crescent remains uniquely lopsided. The central pillars, a common feature in symmetrical crescents, no longer sits in the middle of the crescent, but instead leans to the east, adding a quirky feel to this unusual crescent, well placed closer to town than more perfectly formed streets further along Lansdown Road.
Royal Crescent

4) Royal Crescent (must see)

Situated on the edge of a grassy hill overlooking the city center below, the Royal Crescent is the most notable and well known of Bath’s famous crescents. Built in 1774 based on a concept and design that belonged to architect John Wood the Younger, the Royal Crescent stands with the Roman Baths and Bath Abbey as one of the West Country city’s truly world famous attractions. An unbroken crescent of grand Georgian townhouses, the Royal Crescent stands out from the city’s other Georgian architecture because of its scale, and the ambition of its imposing, Roman influenced design.

The Royal Crescent lies north west of the city center, close to Royal Victoria Park. It gained its regal name when Prince Frederick, the Duke of York, made 1 Royal Crescent his home in the 18th century. In the years since its construction, the Royal Crescent has played host to many other famous names. 1 Royal Crescent is now a museum which recreates the grandeur of a Georgian townhouse during Bath’s golden era. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday for most of the year, although it is closed in the winter months.
Sight description based on wikipedia
The Circus

5) The Circus (must see)

The Circus stands a short walk to the east of Royal Crescent, and a ten minute walk along Gay Street from the western edge of the city center. The Circus does not have a dedicated museum, but can easily be taken in either as part of an architectural tour, or around visits to nearby attractions, such as the Assembly Rooms or Museum of East Asian Art. Designed by John Wood the Elder, the Circus was completed by his son, John Wood the Younger, who also designed the Royal Crescent. The three buildings that make up the Circus have previously been voted amongst Britain’s greatest architectural works.

The less well known partner to the Royal Crescent, the place once known as The King’s Circus is perhaps even more impressive architecturally; three curved buildings combine to form a perfect circle of ornate Georgian facades, with a picture book village green in the middle. Rumors abound that the circular nature of the street, combined with the arc of the Royal Crescent a few yards away, was intended to represent a star and crescent - an ancient Masonic symbol, and a theme of the Woods’ work. It’s all part of the grandeur and mysticism that make both streets such unique architectural sights.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Queen Square

6) Queen Square (must see)

Queen Square is a Georgian era residential square, located in the busy western end of Bath city centre. With Gay Street leading north to The Circus and south to shops and restaurants either side of the square, Queen Square is a popular spot for hotels and guest houses. The elegant Francis Hotel dominates the south side of the square, whilst tourists are often attracted to guest houses in the square, due to its convenient central location. Designed by John Wood the Elder and completed in the 19th century by John Pinch, Queen Square is reminiscent of London’s fine Georgian squares, and is the most central of Bath’s celebrated Georgian streets.

The central gardens offer a quiet spot to take in a panorama of Queen Square’s four sides, all of which are Grade I listed. The monument standing within the gardens, known locally as the Bath Needle, is officially known as the Beau Nash Monument. Nash, a popular local socialite credited with attracting the great and good to Bath in the late 18th century, gifted the monument to the town to commemorate the visit of Prince Frederick, who later lived a short walk up Lansdown Hill away, at 1 Royal Crescent.
Bath Assembly Rooms

7) Bath Assembly Rooms (must see)

The Assembly Rooms, located on the northern edges of the city center, can lay claim to being the historic heart of Bath. In the city’s Georgian heyday, the Assembly Rooms were the epicenter of high society. The social calendar of Bath’s elite revolved around dances, card games and soirées at the Assembly Rooms, with British authors Jane Austen and Charles Dickens both making reference in their novels to the grand social occasions held there.

Now owned by the National Trust, the Assembly Rooms remains remarkably well preserved, despite being partly damaged during World War 2. The building, true to its name, is divided into several rooms, all of which possess original features from their Georgian heyday, including the original crystal chandeliers. The largest room, the ballroom, is still available as a wedding venue, with the card room and octagon serving as refined venues for the reception afterwards!

Entry is free to National Trust members, and is £2.00 for adults, with concessions available. Wheelchairs are available on site, but please book these in advance. The Fashion Museum is housed below the Assembly Rooms, and both venues can be visited by purchasing a joint ticket, available at £7.25 for adults, with concessions available. The Assembly Rooms are on Bennett Street, a ten minute walk from Bath city center.
Sight description based on wikipedia

8) Paragon

The Paragon, in the Walcot area of Bath, is a street of Georgian houses which have been designated as listed buildings. It was designed by Thomas Warr Attwood. It now forms part of the A4. Numbers 1 to 21 are three-storeyed houses with mansard roofs. Each building has matching doors and widows with central pediments and flat entablatures on either side of the 1st floor windows and Tuscan pilasters and pediments to the doorways. Numbers 22 to 37 continue the theme from numbers 1 to 21 and were completed in 1775 by Joseph Axford, a local mason. Numbers 28 to 32 were damaged by bombing during World War II but have since been restored. St Swithin's Church was built between 1779 and 1790 by John Palmer. On 30 May, 1797 the abolitionist William Wilberforce and Barbara Spooner Wilberforce were married in this church. In 1805 it was the burial place of the writer and poet Christopher Anstey and, in 1831, of Rear Admiral Sir Edward Berry.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Pulteney Bridge

9) Pulteney Bridge (must see)

Pulteney Bridge is a bridge that crosses the River Avon. It was completed in 1773 and is designated by English Heritage as a grade I listed building. The bridge was designed by Robert Adam, whose working drawings are preserved in the Sir John Sloane's Museum, and is one of only four bridges in the world with shops across the full span on both sides. Shops on the bridge include a flower shop, an antique map shop, and a juice bar. It is named after Frances Pulteney, heiress in 1767 of the Bathwick estate across the river from Bath. Bathwick was a simple village in a rural setting, but Frances's husband William could see its potential. He made plans to create a new town, which would become a suburb of the historic city of Bath. First he needed a better river crossing than the existing ferry, hence the bridge.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Bath, England

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