070108.Bathwick, Pulteney Bridge

January 8, 2007 at 12:22 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Bathwick, Bridges, Doric Order, Light and Shadow, Pevsner, Pulteney Bridge, Reflection, Restoration, river, River Avon, somerset, Vaults | 14 Comments

061216.112.Somset.Bath
Designed by Robert Adam and built by William Johnstone Pulteney from 1769 to 1774, Pulteney Bridge is easily one of the city’s most recognizable features. It has shops on both sides (though the south face, shown, is the glamorous one). The bridge connects the city centre to Bathwick, then owned entirely by the Pulteney family. Adam also designed Bathwick but his designs were never carried out and Thomas Baldwin constructed Great Pulteney Street and the rest of Bathwick, as it stands now, until he was fired. Here’s a description of the bridge from the Pevsner Architectural Guide: “A central pavilion has an open pediment and a great Venetian window, and the wings have pavilion features over each pier. Square pavilions sit on the abutments, with domes and pediments and, originally, porticoes facing outward. The street elevations are broadly similar but flanking wings each have three arched openings to form shopfronts with doorways between. All this sounds monumental. In fact, it is a surprisingly small bridge, friendly in its dimensions. In 1792 Thomas Baldwin added a storey, removed the porticoes and altered the shopfronts. After the NW mid-stream pier collapsed in 1800, John Pinch the Elder, now surveyor to the Bathwick Estate, appears to have reconstructed the N side in 1802-4 to a plainer design and a deeper plan….” (1) It has been altered and reconstructed many times since then.
1: Michael Forsyth, Bath (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003), 82.

It’s still raining so I’m reaching back a few days, again.

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