Designed by Hugh D. Roberts, 1961-1964, “simple, dignified with a square side tower open at the top. The chancel has abstract stained-glass panels. THe exterior reuses rubble from old St Andrew, which once occupied the adjacent large, forlorn green triangular space to the south,” which had been designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott in the Gothic Revival style, 1869-1873 with an added 220-foot-spire of 1878 (the tallest in Bath!), but it was bombed in 1942 and demolished in the early 1960s. The short long building next to it is St. Andrew’s School, designed by Nealon Tanner Partnership in 1991, which “presents to the road a heavy, protective rubble base pierced by porthole windows. A contrasting, colourful steel-frame structure supports the roof, pieced by playful metal vents.”
–Michael Forsyth, Bath (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003), 241.
Below: The old church’s extreme height prominently interrupted the renowned sweep of the Royal Crescent, influencing the decision to demolish it in the 1960s. Nickolaus Pevsner wrote in his 1958 guide to the region descried the ruined church with “big…tower with broach spire…the rest happily bombed. The tower is now also coming down — a blessing; for it was unacceptable even from the picturesque mixer’s point of view.” (Figures 19 and 20 were photographed from Bath’s Victoria Museum’s “Blitzed! Bath at War” Exhibit, text copyright by David McLaughlin)
I found the two photos above in the book ‘Bath At War,’ and they originally came from the Bath Reference Library. They show the old St. Andrew’s after the 1942 bombing.
The twenty metre cast and wrought iron vaulted train shed of Queen Square Station (now Green Park Station), designed by the Midland Railway chief engineer J.S. Crossley and built between 1868-1869 by Andrew Handyside of Derby. Closed in 1966, it was restored by Stride Treglown Partnership and paid for by Sainsbury’s supermarket (visible in the rear) for their parking and the occasional crafts fair. It has been known as Green Station since 1951 and owned by the Bath City Council since 1974.
–Michael Forsyth, Bath (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003), 265-266. 251-252
This was yesterday. See tomorrow’s post.
This is the parish house of St John the Baptist in Bathwick, a Victorian church in an awkward site because the site formerly belonged to a medieval church that had been bulldozed in 1808 because it was no longer picturesque enough to merit repair. Here you see on the extreme left the typical Victorian Welsh Slate Roof with clay tile ornamental ridge caps. In the centre (left of the parish hall gable) you see simple clay pantiles. The final elevation of the porch (right of the gable) has the iconic “Double Roman” pantile. Click to enlarge.
posted but not created by JosyC
“The church is a small structure, 50 feet in length and 16 feet in breadth, covered with tiles; at the west end in a little stone turret hangs two small bells. It is dedicated to St. Michael.” -John Collinson, History of Somerset, 1791.
The original structure in the 1924 area guide was considered to be an “ancient Norman” one, and the parish minutes of 1757 give a glimpse of the small church structure having a chancel with at least two pews in it. “About the beginning of the XIX century,, when this little old church, after long neglect, needed extensive repairs, the inhabitant instead of repairing it, pulled it down and out of its materials build a new church of about the same size, seating only 95 persons, but to their minds no doubt more comfortable. It was erected in 1814 and did not last long. The Rev. Francis Pocock, being appointed vicar of Monkton Combe in 1863, found this church in a dilapidated state, and…for the needs for the parish, and had the courage to undertake the entire rebuilding of the sacred edifice.”– D. Lee Pitcairn and Alfred Richardson, An Historical Guide to Monkton Combe, Combe Down and Claverton (Bath: F. Goodall Printer, 1924) 28-29.
“It was first suggested that an aisle should be added to the edifice, but this, it was found, could not be done, and it was finally decided to raze the old structure and erect and entirely new building. Mr. C. E. Giles, of London, designer of St. John’s, Bathwick, was the architect, and the builder was Mr. S. G. Mitchell of this city [Bath]. The church was opened on Tuesday, July 4th…capable of seating 300 worshipers.” —Bath Chronicle, July 6, 1865.
“St. Michael. 1865, by C. E. Giles, enlarged in 1886 (GR), rather terrible piece of architecture. Inside a Venetian later C16 painting attributed to Schiavone (on loan). –Plate. Chalice and Cover 1634; Spoon 1797.” – Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: North Somerset and Bristol, (Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1958), 229.
Typically unforunate with Victorian churches and other structures is its Welsh Slate roof. If I may add something to this list of quotes it is that I agree with Pevsner here. This is why the people of Monkton Combe can’t have nice things….
Combe Down is littered with former quarry sites–mostly dating from Ralph Allen’s time. Everyone seems to have one in their backyard. Sometimes they appear overnight. “Mom, am I imagining things or did the hill face move closer to the house?” You get the picture.
Bath has several different types of oolitic limestone, each named for the hill it was quarried on but I’m not going to get into details now. Most of the quarries in Bath, however, are underground. In fact, Combe Down is mostly tunnels and the quarries were more or less labyrinth underground cities with the stone being carted out by horses (leading to the tunnels being filled with stone-carved water troughs.) Even part of the U of Bath campus on neighboring Claverton Down hill used to be a quarry.
Technically, if a quarry is underground then it becomes a mine (even though the tunnels aren’t for metal) but the Combe Down tunnels retained their “quarry” name to avoid mine legislation.Today, however, these quarry tunnels are legally mines and the larger concern facing the government is filling them in.
Sinkholes used to constantly appear and collapse roads and structures on this hill, so that now the government is spending millions of pounds to secure and fill the tunnels, so I hear. It’s an odd cycle.
Tune in tomorrow for more Ralph Allen Week on Bath DP.