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Population: 84,000
Ordnance Survey
OS grid reference:ST745645
District: Bath and North East Somerset
Region: South West England
Constituent country:England
Sovereign state:United Kingdom
Ceremonial county: Somerset
Historic county: Somerset
Police force: Avon and Somerset
Fire and rescue: Avon
Ambulance:South Western
Post office and telephone
Post town: BATH
Postal district: BA1, BA2
Dialling code: 01225
UK Parliament: Bath
European Parliament: South West England
Image:Flag of England.svg

Bath is a city in South West England most famous for its baths fed by three hot springs. It is situated 159 km (99 miles) west of central London and 21 km (13 miles) southeast of Bristol.

The city is founded around the only naturally-occurring hot springs in the United Kingdom. It was first documented as a Roman spa, although tradition suggests that it was founded earlier. The waters from its spring were believed to be a cure for many afflictions. From Elizabethan to Georgian times it was a resort city for the wealthy. As a result of its popularity during the latter period, the city contains many fine examples of Georgian architecture, most notably the Royal Crescent. The city has a population of over 80,000 and is a World Heritage Site.


[edit] Geography

Cleveland House and the cast iron bridges of Sydney Gardens over the Kennet and Avon Canal

[edit] Situation and transport

Bath is located at 51°23′N 2°22′W. It is approximately 25 kilometres (15 miles) south-east of the larger city and port of Bristol, to which it is linked by the A4 road, and is a similar distance south of the M4 motorway. Its main railway station, Bath Spa, lies on the Great Western Railway, the main line between Bristol and London, as well as the line linking Cardiff with Portsmouth.

Bath is connected to Bristol and the sea by the River Avon, navigable via locks by small boats. The river was connected to the River Thames and London by the Kennet and Avon Canal in 1810 via Bath Locks; this waterway—closed for many years, but restored in the last years of the 20th century—is now popular among users of narrow boats, and was historically an important water route to London.<ref>Allsop, Niall (1987). The Kennet & Avon Canal. Bath: Millstream Book. ISBN 0948975156.</ref>

[edit] Physical geography

Aerial view over northern Bath from a hot air balloon. The famous Royal Crescent is in the centre.

Bath is centred on the bottom of the Avon Valley, located at the southern edge of the Cotswolds, a range of limestone hills designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The hills that surround and make up the city have a maximum altitude of 238 metres (780 ft) on the Lansdown plateau. It has an area of 29 km² (11 mile²).<ref>Contaminated Land Inspection of the area surrounding Bath</ref>

The surrounding hills give Bath its steep streets and make its buildings appear to climb the slopes. The flood plain of the River Avon, which runs through the centre of the city, is at an altitude of 17 metres. The river, once an unnavigable series of braided streams broken up by swamps and ponds, has been managed by weirs into a single channel. Nevertheless, periodic flooding was normal until major flood control works in the 1970s; this shortened the life of many buildings in the lowest part of the city.

The city has the hottest geothermal springs in the UK. They are the only natural water sources over 40°C in the UK. These springs are sometimes claimed to be the country's only hot springs.<ref>There is no universal definition to distinguish a hot spring from another geothermal spring, though by several definitions, the Bath springs can be considered the only hot springs in the UK.</ref> Three of these springs feed the thermae baths.

[edit] Climate

The climate of Bath is temperate, although significantly warmer than some other locations at a similar latitude due to the warming influence of the Gulf Stream. It is on average drier and warmer than more northerly parts of the United Kingdom. The prevailing winds are south-westerly, from the North Atlantic Current.

In 2003 the annual mean temperature was 10.3 °C, with extremes at 14.2 °C and 6.5 °C (50.5 °F, 57.5 °F and 43.7 °F, respectively). There were 1645 hours of sunshine, and 957 millimetres of rainfall. The temperatures, sunshine duration and rainfall are higher than the United Kingdom averages (which are 9.5 °C, or 49 °F, 1587 hours and 901.5 millimetres, respectively)[citation needed].

[edit] Politics

Image:Coat of Arms - City of Bath.jpg
Coat of Arms of the former Bath City Council

The Liberal Democrat Don Foster is the Member of Parliament for Bath. His election was perhaps the most notable result of the 1992 results, as Chris Patten, the previous Member (and a Cabinet Minister), played a major part, as Conservative Party Chairman, in getting the government of John Major re-elected, but failed to defend his marginal seat in Bath. Don Foster has been re-elected as the MP for Bath in every election since.

Historically part of the county of Somerset, Bath came into Avon when that non-metropolitan county was created in 1974. Since the abolition of Avon in 1996, Bath has been the main centre of the Unitary Authority of Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES). Bath's city council was abolished in 1996; its ceremonial functions, including the mayoralty, which can be traced back to 1230, are maintained by the "Charter Trustees", viz. all those B&NES councillors for wards within the city limits. There have been calls to set up a parish council for Bath, but it would be larger than any precedent (the largest, Weston-super-Mare, has a population of about 70,000), and many have argued that it would be impractical.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

The coat of arms includes two silver strips, which represent the River Avon and the hot springs. The sword of St Paul is a link to Bath Abbey. The supporters, a lion and a bear, stand on a bed of acorns, a link to Bladud, the Legend of Bath. The knight's helmet indicates a municipality and the crown is that of King Edgar, the first king of a united England, who was crowned in Bath in 973 on the site of the current abbey.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

[edit] Demographics

According to the UK Government's 2001 census,<ref>Office for National Statistics, Census 2001. Statistics about Bath.</ref> Bath, combined with the immediate surrounding area of North East Somerset, has a population of 169,040, with an average age of 39.9 (the national average being 38.6). According to the same statistics, the district is overwhelmingly populated by people of a white ethnic background, 97.2%—significantly higher than the national average of 90.9%. Other ethnic groups in the district, in order of population size, are multiracial at 1%, Asian at 0.5% and black at 0.5% (the national averages are 1.3%, 4.6% and 2.1%, respectively).

The city is largely Christian at 71%, with no other religion reaching more than 0.5%. These figures generally compare with the national averages, though the non-religious, at 19.5%, are significantly more prevalent than the national 14.8%. Since Bath is known for its restorative powers it is interesting to note that only 7.4% of the population describe themselves as "not healthy" in the last 12 months, compared to a national average of 9.2%; only 15.8% of the inhabitants say they have had a long-term illness, as against 18.2% nationally.

[edit] History

[edit] Celtic and Roman

Image:Roman Baths in Bath Spa, England - July 2006 edit3.jpg
The Great Bath at the Roman Baths. The entire structure above the level of the pillar bases is a later reconstruction.

The archaeological evidence shows that the site of the Roman Baths' main spring was treated as a shrine by the Celts, and dedicated to the goddess Sulis. The Romans probably occupied Bath shortly after their invasion of Britain in 43 AD. They knew it as Aquae Sulis (literally "the waters of Sulis"), identifying the goddess with Minerva. In Roman times the worship of Sulis continued and messages to her scratched onto metal have been recovered from the Sacred Spring by archaeologists. These are known as curse tablets. These curse tablets were written in Latin, and usually laid curses on other people, whom they feel had done them wrong. For Example, if a citizen had his clothes stolen at the Baths, he would write a curse on a tablet, to be read by the Goddess Sulis, and also, the "suspected" names would be mentioned. The corpus from Bath is the most important found in Britain.

During the Roman period, increasingly grand temples and bathing complexes were built in the area, including the Great Bath. Rediscovered gradually from the 18th century onward, they have become one of the city's main attractions. The city was given defensive walls, probably in the 3rd century. From the later 4th century on, the Western Roman Empire and its urban life declined. However, while the great suite of baths at Bath fell into disrepair, some use of the hot springs continued.

[edit] Post-Roman and Saxon

It has been suggested that Bath may have been the site of the Battle of Mons Badonicus (circa 500 AD), where King Arthur is said to have defeated the Saxons, but this is disputed. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle mentions Bath falling to the West Saxons in 577 after the Battle of Deorham. The Anglo-Saxons called the town Baðum, Baðan or Baðon, meaning "at the baths," and this was the source of the present name. In 675, Osric, King of the Hwicce, set up a monastic house at Bath, probably using the walled area as its precinct. King Offa of Mercia gained control of this monastery in 781 and rebuilt the church, which was dedicated to St. Peter. Bath had become a royal possession. The old Roman street pattern was by now lost, and King Alfred laid out the town afresh, leaving its south-eastern quadrant as the abbey precinct.

[edit] Norman, Medieval and Tudor

King William Rufus granted the city to a royal physician, John of Tours, who became Bishop of Wells and Abbot of Bath in 1088, with permission to move the seat of Somerset from Wells to Bath. Bishop John therefore became the first Bishop of Bath. He planned and began a much larger church as his cathedral, to which was attached a priory, with the bishop's palace beside it. New baths were built around the three springs.

Later bishops preferred Wells, which regained cathedral status jointly with Bath. By the 15th century, Bath Cathedral was badly dilapidated. Oliver King, Bishop of Bath and Wells, decided in 1500 to rebuild it on a smaller scale. The new cathedral was completed just a few years before Bath Priory was dissolved in 1539. Then Henry VIII considered the cathedral redundant, and it was allowed to become derelict, before being restored as the city's parish church in the Elizabethan period, when the city revived as a spa. The baths were improved and the city began to attract the aristocracy in the bathing seasons. Bath was granted city status in 1590.

[edit] 17th century

During the English Civil War the Battle of Lansdowne was fought on July 5 1643 on the outskirts of Bath.

Sally Lunn, (aka Solange Luyon) a Hugenot refugee, came to Bath and found work with a baker in Lilliput Alley (now North Parade Passage), creating the Sally Lunn bun.

[edit] 18th century

The Royal Crescent from the air: Georgian taste favoured the civilised regularity of Bath's streets and squares and the delightful contrast with rural nature immediately at hand.

There had been much rebuilding in the Stuart period, but this was eclipsed by the massive expansion of the city in Georgian times. The old town within the walls was also largely rebuilt. This was a response to the continuing demand for elegant accommodation for the city's fashionable visitors, for whom Bath had become a pleasure resort as well as a spa. The architects John Wood the elder and his son John Wood the younger laid out the new quarters in streets and squares, the identical facades of which gave an impression of palatial scale and classical decorum. The creamy gold of Bath stone further unified the city, much of it obtained from the limestone Combe Down and Bathampton Down Mines under Combe Down, which were owned by Ralph Allen (1694–1764). The latter, in order to advertise the quality of his quarried limestone, commissioned the elder John Wood to build him a country house on his Prior Park estate. A shrewd politician, he dominated civic affairs and became mayor several times.

The early 18th century saw Bath acquire its first purpose-built theatre, pump room and assembly rooms. Master of Ceremonies Beau Nash, who presided over the city's social life from 1705 until his death in 1761, drew up a code of behaviour for public entertainments. However, the city declined as a fashionable resort in the 19th century.

Bath elected two members to the Unreformed House of Commons.

[edit] 20th century

Between the evening of 25 April and the early morning of 27 April 1942 Bath was subjected to three air raids by the Luftwaffe in reprisal for RAF raids on the German cities of Lübeck and Rostock. The three raids formed part of the Luftwaffe campaign popularly known as the Baedeker Blitz and damaged or destroyed more than 19 000 buildings and killed more than 400 people. Considerable damage was done to noteworthy historical buildings. Houses in the Royal Crescent, Circus and Paragon were burnt out as were the Assembly Rooms while the south side of Queen Square was destroyed. All have since been reconstructed.

Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia spent the five years of his exile mainly in Bath. This period in the monarch's life is described in the section headed 'Exile' here.

[edit] Culture

During the 18th century, Bath was an extremely fashionable cultural hub, attracting the aristocracy and gentry from all over the country. This gave the city the finance and incentive to undertake large cultural developments. It was during this time that Bath's Theatre Royal was first built, as well as architectural triumphs such as Lansdown Crescent,<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> the Royal Crescent,<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> The Circus and Pulteney Bridge.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

Today, Bath has four theatresTheatre Royal, Ustinov Studio, The Egg and Rondo Theatre—attracting internationally renowned companies and directors, including Peter Hall. The city also has a long standing musical tradition; Bath Abbey<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> is home to the Klais Organ and is the largest concert venue in the city, with about 20 concerts and 26 organ recitals each year. Another important concert venue is the Forum, a restored 1700-seat art deco cinema. The city holds the Bath International Music Festival and Mozartfest every year. Other festivals include the annual Bath Film Festival, the Bath Fringe Festival and the Bath Beer Festival.

The city is home to the Victoria Art Gallery,<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> the Museum of East Asian Art, and The Holburne Museum of Art,<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> as well as numerous museums, among them The Bath Postal Museum, The Museum of Costume, The Jane Austen Centre, the William Herschel Museum and the Roman Baths.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> See 'Places of interest' below for details of other places of artistic, cultural and historical interest.

There are numerous commercial art galleries and antique shops in Bath.

For a list of churches in Bath, see here. In addition to the churches listed Manvers Gospel Hall is located in the city centre.

[edit] Bath in the arts

Perhaps the best known resident of Bath was Jane Austen, who lived in the city from 1801 until 1806. However, Jane Austen never liked the city, and wrote to her sister Cassandra, "It will be two years tomorrow since we left Bath for Clifton, with what happy feelings of escape." Despite her feelings regarding the city, Bath has honoured her name with the Jane Austen Centre and a city walk based on Austen. After leaving the city, Austen wrote two novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion (written 1816, published 1818), which are largely set in the city and feature descriptions of taking the waters, social life, and cultural resources such as music recitals.

  • Charles Dickens' novel Pickwick Papers also features Bath, and satirises its social life. Pickwick takes the waters and his servant, Sam Weller, comments that the water has "a very strong flavour o' warm flat irons", while the Royal Crescent is the venue for a chase between two of the characters, Dowler and Winkle.
  • William Friese-Greene began experimenting with celluloid and motion pictures in his studio in Bath in the 1870s, developing some of the earliest movie camera technology there. He is credited at the inventor of cinematography.
  • In August 2003 the Three Tenors sang at a special concert to mark the opening of the Thermae Bath Spa, a new hot water spring spa in Bath City Centre; delays to the project meant the spa actually opened three years later on August 7 2006.

[edit] Parks

Image:Bath - Parade Gardens - July 2006.jpg
Parade Gardens in July after a rain shower

The city has several public parks, the main one being Royal Victoria Park, a short walk from the centre of the city. It was opened in 1830 and has an area of 150,000 m².<ref>Size and date of establishment of Victoria Park from UKPG database</ref> Several events are held in the park every year, including the International Music Festival (a one-off Three Tenors concert took place in 2003), and it is favoured as a take-off site by hot air balloon companies. The park features a botanical garden, a large children's play park, and sports facilities, including crazy golf, bowls and lawn tennis. Much of its area is lawn; a notable feature is the way in which a ha-ha segregates it from the Royal Crescent, while giving the impression to a viewer from the Crescent of a greensward uninterrupted across the Park up to Royal Avenue.

Other parks in Bath include: Alexandra Park, which crowns a hill and overlooks the city; Parade Gardens, along the river front near the Abbey in the centre of the city; Sydney Gardens, known as a pleasure-garden in the 18th century; Henrietta Park; Hedgemead Park; and Alice Park. Jane Austen wrote of Sydney Gardens that "It would be pleasant to be near the Sydney Gardens. We could go into the Labyrinth everyday." Alexandra, Alice and Henrietta parks were built into the growing city among the housing developments.<ref>Information on other parks from Historic Public Parks of Bath</ref> A linear park now exists where the old railway line once was.

[edit] Food

Sally Lunn's buns (a type of teacake) have long been baked in Bath. They were first mentioned by that name in verses printed in the Bath Chronicle in 1772. At that time they were eaten hot at public breakfasts in Spring Gardens. They can be eaten with sweet or savoury toppings.

Visitors sometimes confuse Sally Lunn's buns with Bath Buns — smaller, round, very sweet, very rich buns that were associated with the city following the Great Exhibition. The Buns were topped with crushed 'comfits' created by dipping caraway seeds repeatedly in boiling sugar; but today seeds are added to a 'London Bath Bun' (a reference to the bun's promotion and sale at the Great Exhibition). The seeds may be replaced by crushed sugar granules or 'nibs'.

Bath has also lent its name to one other distinctive recipe — Bath Olivers — the dry baked biscuits invented by Dr William Oliver, physician to the Mineral Water Hospital, Bath in 1740. Oliver was an early anti-obesity campaiger, writing a "Practical Essay on the Use and Abuse of warm Bathing in Gluty Cases". Local legend has it that he bequeathed the recipe for his low calorie biscuits to his coachman, a Mr Atkins, along with £100 and a hundred sacks of flour. Atkins subsequently opened a shop in Green Street, Bath and became a rich man on the proceeds.

[edit] Sport

The city's best known sporting team is Bath Rugby, a rugby union team which is currently in the Guinness Premiership league. It plays in black, blue and white kit with its sponsors' logo, Helphire, on the front of the shirts. The team plays at the Recreation Ground in the city, where it has been since the late 19th century, following its establishment in 1865. The team rose to national prestige during the 1980s, and it has remained one of the best rugby teams in the country. Its first major honour was winning the John Player Cup four years consecutively from 1984 until 1987. The team then led the Courage league for six consecutive seasons, from 1988/1989 until 1995/1996, during which time it also won the Pilkington Cup in 1989, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1995 and 1996. It finally won the Heineken Cup in the 1997/1998 season, and topped the Zürich (now Guinness) Premiership in 2003/2004.

The team's current squad includes several members who also play in the English national elite team including: Steve Borthwick, Lee Mears, Matt Stevens, Olly Barkley, David Flatman and Danny Grewcock. Colston's Collegiate School, Bristol has had a large input in the team over the past decade, providing current 1st XV squad members Barkley, Bell, Brooker, Crockett, Davey, Davis, Delve, Hawkins, Mears and Smith. The current England Rugby Team Manager Andy Robinson used to play for Bath Rugby team and was Captain and later Coach. While in the Bath team, he was a Physical Education, Rugby and Mathematics teacher at King Edward's School, North Road, Bath. Both of Robinson's predecessors, Clive Woodward and Jack Rowell, were also former Bath coaches and managers.

Bath City F.C. and Team Bath F.C. (affiliated with the University of Bath) are the major football teams, both of which are in the Southern Football League. In 2002, Team Bath became the first university team to enter the FA Cup in 120 years, and advanced through four qualifying rounds to the first round proper. Unlike the city's rugby team, Bath City have never attained an elite status in English football; its highest position has been seventh in the Football Conference in the 1992/1993 season. The University's team was established in 1999, while the city team has existed since before 1908 (when it entered the Western League). Bath City F.C. play their games at Twerton Park. Current players include Scott Partridge, Jim Rollo, Andy Sandell and former South African international goalkeeper Paul Evans.

Cricket is played at the Bath Cricket Club, located, like the rugby Recreation Ground, east of the river, near Pulteney Bridge. The cricket ground is the venue for the annual Bath Cricket Festival which sees Somerset County Cricket Club play several games.

Bath also has a thriving biking community, with places for biking including Royal Victoria Park, 'The Tumps' in Odd Down, the jumps on top of Lansdown, and Prior Park. Places for biking near Bath include Brown's Folly in Batheaston and Box Woods, in Box.

The Recreation Ground is also home to Bath Croquet Club, which was re-formed in 1976 and is affiliated with the South West Federation of Croquet Clubs.

TeamBath is the umbrella name for all of the University of Bath sports teams, including the aforementioned football club. Other sports for which TeamBath is noted are athletics, badminton, basketball, bob skeleton, bobsleigh, hockey, judo, modern pentathlon, netball, rugby, swimming, tennis and triathlon.

Bath is also the home of the Bath American Football Club, which has been playing American Football in the city since 2001. It caters for Youth and Junior levels of play.

The Bath half marathon is run annually through the city streets, with over 10,000 runners. The City of Bath Triathlon takes place annually at the University of Bath.

[edit] Business

The city lies at the junction of the Kennet and Avon Canal and the navigable River Avon. It has a station on the main line from London to Bristol, which was built by the Great Western Railway. At one time, it was also served by the Midland Railway, and by the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway.

Today, its once-important manufacturing sector is much diminished, but it has notable software, publishing and service-oriented industries, in addition to tourism. The magazine publisher Future Publishing is one of Bath's bigger employers. The firm publishes over 100 magazines, including many in the computer and video gaming sector. Other main employers are the Ministry of Defence, although a number of MOD offices have moved to Bristol; the National Health Service, and Helphire Group plc an Accident Management Company specialising in non-fault motor accidents. It is also the home of Buro Happold. Bath contains many small single-shop or restaurant-based businesses which serve niche markets and are primarily supported by tourism.

[edit] Tourism

Image:Bath Abbey and Entertainer - July 2006.jpg
Popular with tourists, Bath swarms with tourists in the summer. This entertainer performs in front of Bath Abbey and to the right, the Roman Baths

Bath's principal industry is tourism. Bath is the most visited city outside of London for tourists travelling to the UK[citation needed], whose visits mainly fall into the categories of heritage tourism or cultural tourism. All significant stages of the history of England are represented within the city, from the Roman Baths (including their significant Celtic presence), to Bath Abbey and the Royal Crescent, to Thermae Bath Spa in the 2000s.

The size of the tourist industry is reflected in the almost 300 places of accommodation—including over 80 hotels, and over 180 Bed and Breakfasts—many of which are located in Georgian buildings and have five-star ratings. The city also contains approximately 100 restaurants, and a similar number of public houses and bars. Several companies offer open-top bus tours around the city, as well as tours on foot and on the river.

The tourist season is mainly the summer, though there is a year-round presence of tourists. While many come to Bath to see the city in general, some are attracted to particular aspects of the city, such as the Jane Austen landmarks or the Roman Baths.

[edit] The Spa

In 2006, with the opening of Thermae Bath Spa, the city has attempted to recapture its historical position as the only town in the United Kingdom offering visitors the opportunity to bathe in naturally heated spring waters.

[edit] Twinned towns

Bath has four twinned towns:

[edit] Transport

Bath is served by the Bath Spa railway station, which has regular connections to London Paddington, Bristol Temple Meads, Cardiff Central, Swansea, Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance (see Great Western Main Line), and also Westbury, Warminster, Salisbury, Southampton, Portsmouth and Brighton (see Wessex Main Line). Services are provided by First Great Western. There is a suburban station on the main line, Oldfield Park, which has a limited commuter service to Bristol. The charming Green Park station, once operated by the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway, was closed by Beeching in 1965, but the building survives and is used for shopping.

Though Bath does not have an airport, the city is not far from Bristol International Airport, which may be reached by car and by bus or taxi, and by rail via Bristol Temple Meads or Nailsea & Backwell.

National Express operates coach services from Bath to a number of cities. Internally, Bath has a large number of bus routes run by the First Group, with services to surrounding towns and cities. There are two other companies running open top double decker bus tours around the city.

[edit] Architecture

Image:Bath Abbey Fan Vaulting - July 2006.jpg
Fan vaulting over the nave at Bath Abbey, Bath, England. Made from local Bath stone, this is a Victorian restoration (made in the 1860s) of the original roof from 1608

Of Bath's notable buildings, Bath Abbey is one of the most striking and whilst appearing very old, it is of more recnet construction than most of Britain's many ancient Abbeys and cathedrals. Originally a Norman church on earlier foundations, it was rebuilt in the early 16th century and transformed into a gothic fantasy of flying buttresses with crocketed pinnacles decorating a crenelated and pierced parapet. The style of architecture employed is known as late Perpendicular. The choir and transepts have a fine fan vault by Robert and William Vertue, who worked on the fan vault at King's College Chapel, Cambridge and designed similar vaulting in the Henry VII chapel at Westminster Abbey. The nave was given a matching vault in the 19th century. The building is lit by 52 windows.

The dominant style of architecture in Bath is Georgian, which is an evolution of the Palladian revival style which became popular in the early 18th century. Many of the prominent architects of the day were employed in the development of the city, and as a result Bath has many fine terraces of what appear to be elegant townhouses. However, the original purpose of much of Bath's fine architecture is concealed by the honey-coloured classical facades; in an era before the advent of the luxury hotel, these apparently elegant residences were frequently purpose-built rooming or lodging houses, where visitors to the city could hire a room, a floor, or (according to their means) an entire house for the duration of their visit, and be waited on by the house's communal servants.

"The Circus" is one of the most splendid examples of town planning in the city. Three long, curved terraces designed by the elder John Wood form a circular space or theatre intended for civic functions and games. The games give a clue to the design, the inspiration behind which was the Colosseum in Rome. Like the Colosseum, the three facades have a different order of architecture on each floor: Doric on the ground level, then Ionic on the piano nobile and finishing with Corinthian on the upper floor, the style of the building thus becoming progressively more ornate as it rises. Wood never lived to see his unique example of town planning completed, as he died 5 days after personally laying the foundation stone on May 18 1754.

Royal Crescent, seen from a hot air balloon. The contrast between the architectural style of the front and rear of this terrace is clear

The best known of Bath's terraces is the Royal Crescent, built between 1767 and 1774 and designed by the younger John Wood. But all is not what it seems; while Wood designed the great curved facade of what appears to be about 30 houses with Ionic columns on a rusticated ground floor, that was the extent of his input. Each purchaser bought a certain length of the facade, and then employed their own architect to build a house to their own specifications behind it; hence what appear to be two houses is sometimes one. This system of elegant town planning is betrayed at the rear of the crescent: while the front is completely uniform and symmetrical, the rear is a mixture of differing roof heights, juxtapositions and fenestration. This "all to the front and no rear" architecture occurs repeatedly in Bath.

Circa 1770 the eminent neoclassical architect Robert Adam designed Pulteney Bridge, using as the prototype for the three-arched bridge spanning the Avon an original, but unused, design by Palladio for the Rialto Bridge in Venice. Thus Pulteney Bridge became not just a means of crossing the river, but also a shopping arcade, and, along with the Rialto Bridge, is one of the very few surviving bridges in Europe to serve this dual purpose. It has been substantially altered since it was built. It was named after Frances and William Johnstone Pulteney, the owners of the Bathwick estate for which the bridge provided a link to the rest of Bath.

The heart of the Georgian city was the Pump Room, which, together with its associated Lower Assembly Rooms, was designed by Thomas Baldwin, a local builder who was responsible for many other buildings in the city, including the terraces in Argyle Street. Baldwin rose rapidly, becoming a leader in Bath's architectural history. In 1776 he was made the chief City Surveyor, and in 1780 became City Architect. In 1776 he designed the Bath Guildhall, where his design of the interior is reputed to be one of the finest neo-classical interiors in the country. However, it is Great Pulteney Street, where he eventually lived, which is one of his finest works: this wide boulevard, constructed circa 1789 and over 300 m long and 30 m wide, is one of England's most attractive thoroughfares, and is lined on both sides by Georgian terraces.

Architecturally, Bath is one of the most balanced cities in England, and is an unusual example of coherent town planning combined with well-executed and diverse architectural styles.

A panoramic view of the Royal Crescent

[edit] Education

Secondary School Type Results Website
State-funded Schools
Beechen Cliff School boys-only with co-educational sixth form [1] [2]
Culverhay School boys-only with sixth form [3] [4]
Hayesfield School Technology College girls-only with co-educational sixth form [5] [6]
St Gregory's Catholic College co-educational with no sixth form [7] [8]
Oldfield School girls-only with co-educational sixth form [9] [10]
Ralph Allen School co-educational with sixth form [11] [12]
St Mark's CofE School co-educational with no sixth form [13] [14]
Independent Schools
King Edward's School co-educational with sixth form [15] [16]
Prior Park College co-educational with sixth form [17] [18]
Kingswood School co-educational with sixth form [19] [20]
Royal High School girls-only with sixth form [21] [22]

Bath has two universities, The University of Bath and Bath Spa University. The former was established in 1966 and has grown to become a leading university in the United Kingdom, present in many top 10 lists and rated as excellent, the highest rating on government scales, in 14 subjects. The university is known, academically, for the physical sciences, mathematics, management and technology. It is also well known for its sports, which it plays under the name Team Bath. In football, Team Bath F.C. was, in the 2002/2003 season, the first university team to reach the FA Cup first round since 1880.

Bath Spa University was first granted degree-awarding powers in 1992 as a university college (Bath Spa University College), before being granted university status in August 2005. It has schools in the following subject areas: Art and Design, Education, English and Creative Studies, Historical and Cultural Studies, Music and the Performing Arts, and Social Sciences.

The city contains one A-Level college, City of Bath College, and several sixth forms (schools which contain A-Level awarding departments) as part of both state, private, and public schools.

Many notable people, such as Sir Roger Bannister, MP Ann Widdecombe, comedian Bill Bailey, theatrical producer Cameron Mackintosh and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, went to school in Bath.

[edit] Media

Bath has two main local newspapers, the Bath Chronicle and the Bath Times. Both of these are published by Bath Newspapers with joint sales of approximately 178,000 per week, although the Bath Times is a freely distributed paper that contains the highlights from the past week's editions of the Chronicle. The BBC's Where I Live web site for Somerset has featured coverage of news and events within Bath since 2003.<ref>BBC Somerset</ref>

The Bath Chronicle is a daily newspaper, published since 1760. Owned by the Daily Mail newsgroup, it is a tabloid newspaper with a circulation of 14,633 and a readership of 40,252.<ref name="thisisbath">Circulation and readership numbers from official website</ref> The Bath Times is a free weekly newspaper, largely based around advertising. Also a tabloid, it has a circulation of 29,946 and maintains a readership of some 44,577.<ref name="thisisbath"/> In addition to these, The University of Bath has its own newspaper publication called Impact, a free fortnightly newspaper, written and edited entirely by students at the University of Bath. It has a circulation of 3,000 and a readership of perhaps 10,000[citation needed].

Radio stations broadcasting to the city include Bath's GWR FM and the more locally-focused Bath FM, as well as The University of Bath's 1449AM URB, a student-focused radio on campus and also available online [23] and Classic Gold 1260 a networked commercial radio station with local programs.

[edit] Places of interest

Image:NTE icon.png National Trust
Image:EH icon.png English Heritage
Image:FC icon.png Forestry Commission
Image:CP icon.png Country Park
Image:UKAL icon.png Accessible open space
Image:Museum icon.png
Image:Museum icon (red).png
Museums (free/not free)
Image:HR icon.png Heritage railway
Image:HH icon.png Historic House
Central Bath
Greater Bath

Outskirts of Bath

Nearby Bath

[edit] External links

Voluntary Groups

[edit] References

<references />

Places with City status in England
Image:Flag of England.svg
Bath | Birmingham | Bradford | Brighton & Hove | Bristol | Cambridge | Canterbury | Carlisle | Chester | Chichester | Coventry | Derby | Durham | Ely | Exeter | Gloucester | Hereford | Kingston upon Hull | Lancaster | Leeds | Leicester | Lichfield | Lincoln | Liverpool | London (City of London and Westminster) | Manchester | Newcastle upon Tyne | Norwich | Nottingham | Oxford | Peterborough | Plymouth | Portsmouth | Preston | Ripon | Saint Albans | Salford | Salisbury | Sheffield | Southampton | Stoke-on-Trent | Sunderland | Truro | Wakefield | Wells | Winchester | Wolverhampton | Worcester | York

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World Heritage Sites in the United Kingdom (list)
Image:Stonehenge back wide.jpg

England: Blenheim Palace · Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine's AbbeySt. Martin's Church · Bath · Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape · Derwent Valley Mills · Durham Castle & Cathedral · Hadrian's Wall · Ironbridge Gorge · Jurassic Coast · Kew Gardens · Liverpool · Maritime Greenwich · Westminster Palace, Westminster Abbey St. Margaret's · Saltaire · Stonehenge & Avebury · Studley Royal Park · Tower of London

Scotland: Edinburgh Old TownNew Town · Heart of Neolithic Orkney (Maeshowe, Ring of Brodgar, Skara Brae, Standing Stones of Stenness) · New Lanark · St Kilda

Wales: Castles and Town Walls of King Edward I in Gwynedd (Beaumaris Castle, Caernarfon Castle, Conwy Castle, Harlech Castle) · Blaenavon

Northern Ireland: Giant's Causeway

Overseas territories: Henderson Island · Gough Island and Inaccessible Island · St. George's

Coordinates: 51°22′34″N, 2°21′35″Wang:Baðanceaster ar:باث cs:Bath cy:Caerfaddon da:Bath de:Bath es:Bath eo:Bath fa:باث fr:Bath it:Bath he:באת' la:Aquae Sulis hu:Bath nl:Bath (Engeland) ja:バース (イギリス) no:Bath nrm:Ba pl:Bath (Anglia) pt:Bath ru:Бат simple:Bath, England fi:Bath sv:Bath tr:Bath zh:巴斯


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