070725.Bath, I’ll Give You Rustication

July 25, 2007 at 9:17 PM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Chisel Marks, Conservation, doorways, Ionic Order, people, somerset | 9 Comments

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A long time ago in a land far away, when I was first learned the term rustication, my professor, already an angry and unhappy man, immediately explained to his rapt audience that every year the entire class would always confuse the word and write it as rustification. He said always — and without fail, and of course, that’s what sunk me. I still fight that f to this day.070718.56.SO.Bath

This was of course by design since he followed with a story about his friend who teaches at Harvard. I’m sure the person is more of an acquaintance since I doubt this man has any friends but apparently the Harvard architectural professor deliberately pronounced facade to his freshman audience as fakAde, and was greatly amused that the class followed his precedent into their later years in school.

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Back to the images. This facade of the Pump Room faces Stall Street. This stage was designed by Thomas Baldwin but the building was taken over in 1792 and redesigned and completed by John Palmer. This particular type of rustication present on each block is termed vermiculated, expressing the appearance of a worm-ridden block. The simple inversed-beak joints between the blocks are simply termed as chamfered. Note the Ionic order here along the famed colonnade.

070718.53.SO.BathThe street musician in the first photo performs on Stall Street when Abbey’s cloister square is occupied by another. There is some agreed upon schedule, as each act always ends five minutes to the hour and the musicians switch spots.

070707.Bath, Lansdown Crescent

July 7, 2007 at 5:24 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Columns, Crescents, Ionic Order, somerset | 6 Comments

061015.23.Somset.Bath.Walcot.Lansdown Place E.d John Palmer.1789-93

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Lansdown Crescent No, this is NOT the same image as yesterday’s.070314.026.SO.Bath.BldgsofBathMus

Immediately following Somerset House is Lansdown Crescent (1789-93): “a segment of twenty houses forming almost one-third of a circle, together with its convex flanking ranges, Lansdown Place West (No. 8 bombed and rebuilt by Mowbray Green, 1948 [Odd, I thought Mowbray Green died in 1946…perhaps rebuilt by zombie
Mowbray….]
) and Lansdown Place East (1792-5), which step up toward the main crescent.
“John Palmer designed them for Charles Spackman, coachbuilder and developer, and they were built by various speculating builders, some of whom were ruined by the bank failures of 1793. “The convex-concave-convex plan is remarkable. The convex winds are separated from the crescent centre by carriageways to the mews, but the effect is of one continuous form snaking along the hillside.” –Michael Forsyth, Bath (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003), 171-172.

“The convex-concave-convex plan is remarkable. The convex winds are separated from the crescent centre by carriageways to the mews, but the effect is of one continuous form snaking along the hillside. The architectural treatment of Lansdown Crecent is less superb that the earlier, more formal spaces in Bath. The pedimented four-pillaster Ionic centre with a wider space and a Venetian window in the middle is weak, as are the two bows at the ends, set just one bay in from the angle. But with its elevated position, its superb view over Bath, its fine overthrows and lamps (restored in the 1970s) and its patented stonework, magical at dusk, the crescent has unrivalled presence. Historically, the crescent in the winder would have floated, seemingly on clouds, above a pall of blue smoke from thousands of lodging-house chimneys. The details are simple (cost was crucial): ground-floor rustication, continuous first-floor sills (windows at the end houses extending down to the platband a Vitruvian scroll string course above the first floor, and an entablature with a plain frieze, modillioned cornice and balustraded parapet.)” –Michael Forsyth, Bath (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003), 171-172.

070314.196.SO.Bath.BldgsofBathMus.LansdownPlace070314.197.SO.Bath.BldgsofBathMus.LansdownCrescentposted by JosyC

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.

070314.068.SO.Bath.BldgsofBathMus

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

070626.Bath, Richard Brinsley Sheridan: Coffee, Duels, and Bills Payable

June 26, 2007 at 2:15 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, doorways, Ionic Order, Jane Austen, people, River Avon, somerset | 6 Comments

Delia’s Grotto, Bath: [1. Elizabeth A. Linley, 2. Richard B. Sheridan, 3. The Grotto for Scandal, 4. History of Delia’s Grotto 5. Design and Brief Context]
The Parade Coffee House opened in 1750 and is now Bridgewater House. (See next photo down for the view from the building looking toward Abbey Street, Pierrepont Street, and the North Parade Buildings, River Avon.)

070114.08.Somset.Bath.TerraceWalk.BridgewaterHouse


So when we last left Elizabeth Ann Linley (1754-1792), her short engagement to the elderly Mr. Long had ended and she was now the [negative] talk of the town. Depressed, she felt the whole city trapping her and she longed to escape to France, which is when she met the penniless Dublin-born Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816), who had only two years before come to Bath with his father and older brother Charles, another one of her ardent suitors. He didn’t quite sweep her off her feet, but swept her in a waiting carriage and there used his time well while he escorted her to France. The couple left the Royal Crescent, Bath, under the cover of nightfall on 18 March 1772 to pass through London before arriving in Dunkirke. Later, she would write of the journey that she had not known him well before the carriage trip but found his concern for her welfare comforting as the two traveled to France, and there were secretly married in Calais. Elizabeth’s father, Thomas, tracked them down to Lille and escorted them both back to Bath. [1]

070114.09.Somset.Bath.TerraceWalk.View from BridgewaterHouse

RBSheridan.Hall Engraving from Joshua Reynolds Painting

[Right: Sheridan] Back in Bath, the Sheridan-Linley elopement was greeted with the wagging of “patrician tongues” and pleasure-seekers “gossiping their powdered heads off from mid-morning until late afternoon.” [2] The affair also angered one of Elizabeth’s former die-hard suitors, Captain Thomas Mathews, who placed an advertisement in the Bath Chronicle on the 9 April 1772 that stated “because S. [Sheridan] had run away and had made damaging insinuations against him, S. must be ‘posted’ a ‘L[iar] and treacherous s[coundrel].’” This type of public attack was unusual since these challenges were often just posted at Coffee Houses and not in the newspaper. [3]
The resulting altercation during their first duel with rapiers nearly cost Sheridan his life when the militarily-trained Capt. Matthews quickly disarmed the poet and made him beg for his life apologize. Matthews then spread the story to further humiliate Sheridan, which resulted in a second more clumsy duel, in both swords broke but the poet was seriously injured. [4]Capt. Thomas Matthews
[Left: Capt. Mathews] Responding at night in the Parade Coffee House after returning to Bath, Sheridan was probably addressing the printer of the Bath Chronicle when he wrote: “Mr. Mathews thought himself essentially injured by a young Lady to escape the snare of vice and dissimulation. He wrote several most abusive threats to Mr. S— then in France. He laboured with a cruel intensity, to vilify his character in England. He publickly posted him as a scoundrel and a Liar— Mr. S answered him from France (hurried and surprised) that he would never sleep in England ‘till he had thank’d him as he deserved.” Sheridan goes on to claim that he won the second duel and that Mathews has lied about everything. [5] Later in another letter written to Mathews’ second at the later duel, Sheridan rhetorically asks: “Did Mr. Mathews give me an apology as a point of generosity, on my desisting to demand it? –He affirms he did.” [6] Sheridan just didn’t quit.
Despite being the cause of disgrace to his family, Sheridan wrote to his father “I returned here [to Bath] on Friday evening. I am very snugly situated in Town…” And so once returned, the young couple found both their fathers’ forbidding them to see each other again. [7] Naturally, they ignored parental dissatisfaction and continued the tryst. This is evidenced in Sheridan’s bill for goods “Bought of William Evill, In the Market Place” between 20 November, 1771 and 9 September 1772 where his bachelor days’ most extravagant expense recorded at this particular shop was for “1 neat Toothpick Case.” However, between 10 of June, and 9 of September, 1772, after his secret marriage, return to Bath, and order to never see Elizabeth again, he purchases “1 neat Hair Locket,” “1 neat fancy Ring,” “1 neat Gilt Watch Key,” “1 pair neat Garment Buttons,” and other assorted costly items and services including “fitting a Picture in a Case.” Possibly fearful of a third duel, he ran to the shop on the 9th of September to purchase “2 neat German hollow Blades to Swords with Vellum Scabbards, neat Steel and Gold.” [8]
One can assume Richard bought these items because of his involvement with Elizabeth, and the two “were able to meet only clandestinely, and to exchange furtive letters and verses which were left for each other in a grotto on the banks of the Avon.” [9]
711128.Bill Sent to Mr Sheridan
Above: “Bought of William Evill,” courtesy of the Bath Central Library

__
Cited Above:
[1] William Lowndes, Royal Crescent in Bath: A Fragment of English Life (Bristol, The Redcliffe Press, 1981). 36-38
[2] Ibid, 34.
[3] Cedric Price, ed., The Letters of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, 1. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966), 27.
[4] Lowndes, 38.
[5]Richard Brinsley Sheridan, “Letter to the Printer of the Bath Chronicle?” (May-Jun 1772) in C. Price, ed., The Letters of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, 1 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966), 27.
[6] Richard Brinsley Sheridan, “Letter to Captain Knight” (Jul 1772) in C. Price, ed., The Letters of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, 1 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966), 33.
[7] Richard Brinsley Sheridan, “Letter to Thomas Sheridan, Esq.” (May-Jun 1772) in C. Price, ed., The Letters of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, 1 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966), 34.
[8] Bought of William Evill, In the Market Place, [Bill for] Mr. Sheridan (Bath: 20 Nov 1771-9 Sep 1772)
[9] Lowndes, 38.

070618.Walcot, History of St. Swithin’s

June 18, 2007 at 12:52 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Cathedrals and churches, Conservation, cumulus clouds, Ionic Order, Jane Austen, Light and Shadow, somerset, Towers, Walcot | 17 Comments

060924.11.Somset.Bath.Walcot St.St Swithins.d John Palmer.1777-90

The former warden of the church, Des Brown and his wife Maureen, wrote the nice historical pamphlet “Parish Church of St. Swithin: Walcot, Bath,” which is available for free if you visit the church. It’s open for Sunday services at 6:30pm and for walk in visits on Wednesday. It also has a youth service at 8pm on the second Sunday of each month. The main part of the church has just been reopened and the crypt space should be ready by September.

Currently, the Parish of Walcot at St. Swithin’s is absorbing the congregation of St. Andrew’s.

History of the St. Swithin’s, Walcot (from the Brown pamphlet)–07013.17.SO.Bath07013.18.SO.Bath

1. Possibly a site of worship since the Roman times since Walcot and not Bath was the centre of the Roman settlement (Bath was the site of the hot springs and temples only)
2. The first St. Swithin’s Church was constructed on this site in 971, one of fifty churches around England dedicated to the Bishop of Winchester (852-862). The foundations for this church are still present in the crypt. It was very small (16 x 21 feet.)
3. Second church is constructed at some point during the medieval era while Walcot is still a hamlet far outside Bath’s city walls, but is included in the city when the boundary is extended in 1590.
4. 1739 Medieval church damaged during gales and a new church, designed by Churchwarden Robert Smith, was built in 1742. Smith was chosen after designed by John Wood the Elder were rejected! The foundations of this church are also visible in the crypt and the original size is marked by the inner columns. Nave was 40 x 30 feet and chancel was 14 by 20 feet.

5. Future City Architect and City Surveyor (and parishioner) John Palmer demolished the thirty-year-old church for a larger structure, utilizing the former structure’s foundation for the interior column supports. The new church was consecrated in 1777. Built to the same length as the Smith church but wider.

6. It was extended eastward (where it needed to shore up a steep slope) in 1788.
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7. A spire was added in 1790.

8. It was THE parish church of Georgian Bath, and the only remaining one of the city.061002.101.Somset.Bath.St Swithins.d John Palmer.1777-90
9. During the nineteenth century, the parish was one of the largest parishes in the country, so it was broken up with the construction of three new parish churches: Holy Trinity (demolished in 1955(?) parish moved), St. Stephen’s (Lansdown Hill), and St. Saviour’s (Larkhall, yet to be posted).
10. An oriel window was inserted into the east end in 1841.
11. East end pews were removed for choir stalls (removed in 1985) in 1871 under the influence of the Evangelical Revival.
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12. A landslide destroyed 175 horses opposite the church in 1881 (Bath is a very hilly place and has the most landslides in the country), thus creating Hedgemead Park. The damaged church was strengthened by tie-bars, and the galleries were cut back from the columns and new supports inserted (except where the organ was. See below.)
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13. 1942: During the Blitz, the east window was shattered by bombing and a new window replaced it in 1958 (the new window is favored over the old).07013.27.SO.Bath
14. 1951 Communion table introduced
15. 2006-2007 a major refurbishment re-ordered the church interior and the crypt.

Notable parish Members

Rev. George Austen, (Jane Austen’s father)
Fanny Burney, novelist
Comte d’Arblay (Fanny’s husband)
William Wilberforce
John Palmer, City Architect and City Surveyor
Sir Edward Berry (fought with Nelson at Trafalgar)

070617.Walcot, St. Swithin’s Pevsner Architectural Church Chat

June 17, 2007 at 12:09 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Cathedrals and churches, Columns, Ionic Order, Jane Austen, Light and Shadow, Pevsner, somerset, Towers, Walcot | 12 Comments

061002.105.Somset.BathSt Swithins.d John Palmer.1777-9007013.23.SO.Bath
Designed by Jelly and Palmer and built between 1777-1780, St. Swithin’s is the city’s only classical parish church, “extended east to its present six-bay size by two further bays in 1788. The central square west tower, circular drum with arched openings, and octagonal spire (dismantled and rebuilt in the early 1990s) were finished by 1790. All round the exterior are giant Roman Ionic pilasters, unusual for an C18 church (cf. All Saints, Oxford, but this has a prominent attic above the order). Each bay has two tiers of windows, segment-headed and round-headed, and a string course at gallery level. The west doorway is in the base of the tower, but the access is managed in a rather feeble way, with shapeless lobbies either side that cut across the lower parts of the giant pilasters, giving access to the galleries.”
On either side of the nave are three giant Ionic columns. The galleries were cut back following structural damaged during a landslide. “W. J. Willcox added a shallow sanctuary corbelled out on the Walcot Street elevation in 1891.”
“Notables buried here include the painter William Hoare d.1792, Bath poet and editor the New Bath Guide, Christopher Anstey d.1805, and Jane Austen’s father the Rev. George Austen d.1805. George Austen, one time curate of the parish, and William Wilberforce were both married in the church. ”
–Michael Forsyth, Bath (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003), 227-228.

(Below: West End, Rt: East and West End during the Victorian Era)

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061002.111.Somset.Bath..d John Palmer.1777-90

070607. 9/46, Thirty-six Views of Bath Abbey. My tribute to Hokusai’s Fugaku Sanju Rokkei

June 7, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Bath Abbey, Cathedrals and churches, Columns, Fugaku Sanju Rokkei, Hokusai, Ionic Order, Light and Shadow, people, somerset, Tabernacles, Towers | 6 Comments

The series so far…

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070601.192.SO.Bath
Here’s the West Facade of Bath Abbey through architect Thomas Baldwin’s Pump Room Colonnade (with the Pump Room and the Roman Baths behind) compared with Hokusai’s Bushi Senju.

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