070705.Bath, King’s Circus

July 5, 2007 at 1:36 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Columns, Corinthian Order, Doric Order, Ionic Order, somerset, Walcot | 8 Comments

061029.042.Somset.Bath.Walcot.John Wood the Elder's Circus.1754-1758

Littered with Druidic and Masonic symbols, John Wood the Elder’s final masterpiece was the King’s Circus, built on Barton Fields outside the old city walls of Bath that enclosed the Bimbery. Here, uniform facades and rhythmic proportions in conjunction with classical principles of unerring symmetry were followed throughout the city.


The orders are stacked, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, paying homage to the Coliseum, which is in fact what the structure aims to be…and inverted Coliseum. Naming it a circus denotes his lack of a classical education, as circuses were elliptical. Similarly, his theories on Druidic culture were equally wrong. Nevertheless, this first circus was copied throughout the world, and has been referred to as the model for all urban roundabouts.

070213.18.Somset.Bath.Bath At War 061029.059.Somset.Bath.25 Gay St.Jane Austen Centre.Watercolor by SH Grimm.1773 070314.193.SO.Bath.BldgsofBathMus 070314.192.SO.Bath.BldgsofBathMus

posted by JosyC

070701.Walcot,THEME DAY: RED [Ball Express Zooming Over the Cleveland Bridge]

July 1, 2007 at 2:30 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Bathwick, Bridges, Doric Order, people, river, River Avon, somerset, Walcot | 9 Comments

Here’s the [or Grandpa’s] Red Ball Express going over H. Goodridge’s Cleveland Bridge, 1827! It has four Doric pavilions and is EU compliant; this thing can carry trucks! To prevent those heavy things from going off the edge and busting the historic cast iron railing, a fiber-mesh-futuristic-material-thingy was installed between the road and pedestrian path to bounce trucks back into the road if they drift.

Like this Model A (?), I’m off! I’m going to be gone for eleven days. I wish everyone a good July!

On this 1st of July, 96 cities are participating in the City Daily Photo theme day, “Red”.
To see red right around the world, click on the following links:

Bath, UK
Shanghai, ChinaMumbai, IndiaNew York City (NY), USAManila, PhilippinesAlbuquerque (NM), USAHamburg, GermanyStayton (OR), USALos Angeles (CA), USAHyde, UKOslo, NorwayBrookville (OH), USAMelbourne, AustraliaStavanger, NorwayBellefonte (PA), USABucaramanga (Santander), ColombiaJoplin (MO), USASingapore, SingaporeSelma (AL), USACleveland (OH), USAKuala Lumpur, MalaysiaChandler (AZ), USAStockholm, SwedenSeattle (WA), USABoston (MA), USAArradon, FranceEvry, FranceBaton Rouge (LA), USAMaple Ridge (BC), CanadaBoston (MA), USAGrenoble, Francehttp://www.blogger.com/Greenville (SC), USAHilo (HI), USANelson, New ZealandLa Antigua, GuatemalaBrisbane (QLD), AustraliaSingapore, SingaporeTel Aviv, IsraelHong Kong, ChinaSequim (WA), USAPaderborn, GermanySaarbrücken, GermanyRotterdam, NetherlandsTenerife, SpainKyoto, JapanTokyo, JapanSydney, AustraliaNaples (FL), USACologne (NRW), GermanyWassenaar (ZH), NetherlandsSaint Louis (MO), USACypress (TX), USAOcean Township (NJ), USAMainz, GermanyToruń, PolandMenton, FranceMonte Carlo, MonacoSingapore, SingaporeNorth Bay (ON), CanadaJakarta, IndonesiaMontréal (QC), CanadaTuzla, Bosnia and HerzegovinaMinneapolis (MN), USABaziège, FranceSan Diego (CA), USAPrague, Czech RepublicAmpang (Selangor), MalaysiaNew York (NY), USAKajang (Selangor), MalaysiaSharon (CT), USANewcastle (NSW), AustraliaPort Angeles (WA), USANottingham, UKVilligen, SwitzerlandChicago (IL), USATorquay, UKBrussels, BelgiumSan Diego (CA), USAMexico (DF), MexicoSaint Paul (MN), USACape Town, South AfricaParis, FranceSeoul, KoreaManila, PhilippinesMilano, ItalyChennai (Tamil Nadu), IndiaAustin (TX), USAChennai, IndiaMadrid, SpainSeoul, South KoreaWailea (HI), USAToronto (ON), CanadaAjaccio, FranceBuenos Aires, ArgentinaSilver Spring (MD), USAZurich, SwitzerlandSydney, Australia

070619. 10/46, Thirty-six Views of Bath Abbey. My tribute to Hokusai’s Fugaku Sanju Rokkei

June 19, 2007 at 12:58 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Bath Abbey, Cathedrals and churches, Columns, Doric Order, Fugaku Sanju Rokkei, Gardens & Parks, Hokusai, Overcast, river, River Avon, Riverboats, Ships, somerset, Towers | 12 Comments

The series so far…


The “Cleopatra” in front of Bath’s Parade Garden shore and Hokusai’s Bushu Tamagawa. Right in back of the Cleopatra is where the “Roman Great Drain” empties into the Avon. It leads from the Roman Baths to the Parade Gardens, there it was extended during the medieval period. the short section that now empties into the Avon, right where the ground dips down, was built in the 1960s. The Roman brick drain is the oldest working structure in the city, and one of the oldest continuously working structures in the world. The concrete 1960s section of the drain collapsed last year….“no respect for stones.”

070601.Bath, I’m Back from the Future!

June 1, 2007 at 10:11 PM | Posted in Actors in Period Costumes, Architecture, Bath, Columns, Doric Order, people, Roman Baths, somerset | 5 Comments

Hear ye, hear ye: The long adventure of a destroyed harddrive has yet to officially end, but almost. I’ll try and recover photos on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Thank you all for the kind comments and advice. I still have much to respond to, much to catch up with, and much more work to do…..but soon I won’t. What I found interesting during this blackout period in the days following the crash was that I experienced my highest hits ever. More on this later. The numbers have continued to come in, making me wonder if this site is more popular without me. (But again, thanks for all the concern.)
Today is also DP Theme Day. I’ve done the view from my window several times. But below, below you’ll find the view from my window today: I got out and saw some things…started to replenish my photos.

We’ll be coming back to this guy. And I’ll make up the missing days/weeks of this post retroactively with a fascinating series I’m preparing on walls. Brace yourself.
By the way, I’m up to 13,447 sp.am comments. Huzzah!

070507.Bath, Churchill House (Demolition)

May 7, 2007 at 7:44 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Chisel Marks, Columns, Doric Order, Light and Shadow, Ruins, somerset | 6 Comments

To the Moon!

Tomorrow they will close the public toilets in Ham Garden! Ahhh. That therefore will be my post tomorrow.
(Above:) The twentieth century Churchill House office building (boarded up) on Dorchester Street is currently (as you can see below) partially demolished but the main swooping corner elevation has been protected in scaffolding.
Designed in 1931 by local architect W.A.Williams (see architect’s elevations) on the site of a demolished structure that had been built after 1727 but before 1776, its curving corner parapet originally read “Terminus,” an assumable connection to the nearby Bath Spa Great Western Railway Station on Dorchester and Manvers Streets. The steel-framed structure served as the Electricity Board’s HQ from 1932 to 1966. It was also one of the nicest buildings in the area on Dorchester Street. It’s quite ridiculous to demolish one attractive building to build the exact same building in its place in a style that imitates this mock-Georgian since the SouthGate.Bath ‘scheme’ (there is a rendering of the new bus station here) seems to be consciously imitating Churchill House’s “municipal Georgian” (it appears to be a 20th Century combo of Bath’s Georgian Palladian and Baroque Revival–essentially a sum of all parts of Bath’s Guild Hall, the arms of which were completed around the same time as this structure) See more images here.
070429.##.SO.Bath.jpg 019
There was a petition to save Churchill House from demolition online. Below are the firm details from a surveying project in 2005 (I believe) that discusses documenting the building. In some circles, it is acceptable to demolish a building after it has been fully documented. They used to do this even by videotaping the interior but now attempt computer models. As Churchill House will be demolished to make way for the new bus station, the site with the House’s history proposed the structure simply be converted into the new Bath Coach Station (the current 1960s one is to be demolished with little fanfare.) The site also somewhat vindictively lists the names of councilors who voted for its demolition. There were large protests to save it. It’s all quite interesting, really.

070429.##.SO.Bath.jpg 022
I found this online:
“Churchill House, Southgate, Bath
: Morley Fund Management – CGNU
“Author: Sarah Jones
“Site supervisors: Nathalie Cohen, Dave Mackie, Cordelia Hall, Catherine Drew and Andy Chopping
“The first part of MoLAS’ Southgate project in Bath involved the measured building survey and integrated photographic survey of Churchill House. The Churchill House site had housed a late Victorian coal-powered electricity generating station, from which the original engine shed survived. The power station was expanded and redeveloped in the 1920s and 1930s when the office areas were extended, forming a good example of neo-Georgian municipal architecture prevalent at the time, and this part of the complex was the main focus of the standing building survey. The survey will use rectified photography to produce elevations, in addition to surveyed floor plans, and an interpretive building report. The next phase of the project is scheduled for January, and will include the recording of a former dairy and milk-factory on the Southgate site.”

070305.Monkton Combe-Winsley, Flight of the Black Pig

March 5, 2007 at 1:23 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bridges, Canals, Chisel Marks, Conservation, countryside, Doric Order, Monkton Combe, people, river, River Avon, Riverboats, somerset, Trees, Wiltshire, Winsley | 6 Comments

070303.022.Somset.MonktonCombe.Dundas Aqueduct Basin
070303.023.Somset.MonktonCombe.Dundas Aqueduct Basin
The black riverboat is the Black Pig and it’s going over the Dundas Aqueduct, which means it is between Monkton Combe, Somerset and Winsley, Wiltshire (the lines aren’t exact so I might be wrong–also both a “symbolic counties” only.)
The black-red riverboat doesn’t have a name, and perhaps for good reason because we’ll be checking up on it tomorrow. Are you excited? I know I would be if I were in your place. But I’m not. I took the photos and know what is going to happen. It’s nothing to be all that excited about but maybe I shouldn’t have told you that.

This 1798 aqueduct spans 150 feet of the Kennet and Avon Canal over the River Avon on three arches. In 1961, it was designated an Ancient Monument Grade I and three years later they “conserved” it by fixing up its leaks and relining it with concrete. Ironically, it was built on the inferior local Bath stone material instead of the recommended brick because before the canal was built brick was far more expensive than local stone, which would of course change after the completion of the canal. Of course, Bath stone became popular after the completion of this canal as well (as previously discussed in the Ralph Allen series.)

Dundas Aqueduct

“At the opposite extremity of the [Monkton Combe] Parish towards the east the stream of the Avon is spanned by the Dundas Aqueduct. This engineering work, very different in appearance and use from the Roman aqueducts, forms a beautiful object when seen from the top of the hill on which Limpley Stoke lies. It is in form a graceful bridge of Bath stone in three arches. But instead of a highroad, it carries the Kennet and Avon Canal across
“Charles Dundas, after whom it is named, was a man of some eminence in his time. Born in 1751, he entered Parliament in 1774, and remained a member the rest of his life, being for the greater part of the time Member for Berkshire. His first wife brought him the estate of Kentbury, Amesbury in Wiltshire, and that brought him into connexion with Bath by means of the Kennet and Avon Canal. In the Act of Parliament passed for the construction of this canal the name of Charles Dundas occurs iin the long list of proprietors. But he appears really to have been one of the originators and chief promoters of the scheme. Probably his own estate benefited by it. But as the canal was a public work of great utility to the City of Bath and the Country of Wilts, Dundas must rank as a public benefactor, who deserves to be remembered. In 1832 he was raised to the peerage with the title Baron Amesbury. But in the same year he died [of cholera and is buried in Kintbury].
“For the tablets and inscriptions on the two sides of the Aqueduct see [below].
“When the canal was opened in 1810 track boats for passengers were put upon it, called locally “the Scotch boats,” because built after a Scotch model; and it became a favourite amusement for the inhabitants of Bath to travel out in them in leisurely fashion to the Dundas Aqueduct, and spend the day at the Italian villa with grounds sloping down to the water, now occupied by Mrs. Freestun, but then a hotel.” –D. Lee Pitcairn and Alfred Richardson, An Historical Guide to Monkton Combe, Combe Down and Claverton (Bath: F. Goodall Printer, 1924), 30-31.

Read more with British Waterways [here], or on the very informative “Kennet and Avon Scrapbook.”

Dundas Aqueduct; plaque, south face.


Dundas Aqueduct; plaque, north face.

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

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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