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A brief history of Bath’s Royal Crescent

04/10/2016 philip Tourism

One of the landmarks you are most likely to see if you take a leisurely hot air balloon ride in Bath is the Royal Crescent. This unique building comprises a row of 30 terraced houses, which have been set out to form a vast crescent in the city.

The Royal Crescent was designed by John Wood the Younger and constructed between the years of 1767 and 1774. There is no doubt that it is one of the most magnificent examples of Georgian architecture anywhere in the UK, so it is not surprising that the building is Grade I listed.

In the years since its construction, there have been a few changes to the inside of the Royal Crescent, but its Georgian exterior remains virtually the same as it was when it was first constructed.

Famous faces from the past

Over the centuries, it is fair to say that a great number of well-known and notable individuals have taken up residence in the Royal Palace. These include Jean Baptiste du Barre (who used the Crescent to host parties back in the 18th century), explorer and jurist Thomas Falconer (who briefly took up residence there in 1882, shortly before he died), and more recently English professor George Sainsbury, who moved into the Crescent’s number 1A back in 1916.


Over the years, Bath’s Royal Crescent, which is situated near to the city’s Victoria Park – another great attraction to look out for on hot air balloon rides in Bath – has provided inspiration to many prominent architects and designers thanks to its unusual construction. It consists of 114 columns, each of which measure 30 inches in diameter, and 47 feet in height.

For example, back in 1921, Robert Tor Russel, an architect, used Bath’s Royal Crescent as the inspiration for his design of New Delhi’s central business district. The foundation for this building was later laid by the Duke of Connaught at the time, and was named Connaught Place as a result. Even to this day, Connaught Place is the most essential commercial centre in Delhi.

War damage

Although you wouldn’t know it due to the fact that the Royal Crescent looks much the same as it always has, the building received bomb damage during the Bath Blitz, which took place in World War II. Luckily, the damage was not too extensive, although properties 2 and 1 were gutted by incendiaries.


In the 70s, there was some controversy amongst the residents of Bath and the Royal Crescent when one of its residents, a Miss Wellesley-Colley, bravely painted her front door a shade of yellow, ignoring the fact that all doors on the Royal Crescent were always painted white.

As a result, she was issued a notice to repaint by Bath City Council. Not one to back down, she initiated a court case in which the Secretary of State for the Environment at the time got involved, ruling that the door should be allowed to stay yellow. Since then, many other proposed changes to the building have been denied.

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