Bath Experiences: Visiting No 1 Royal Crescent

A lovely November morning in Bath, I decided to visit the Royal Crescent. I first stopped at the Bath Bun at the Abbey Green to try out the famous Bath bun, which was created by Dr. Oliver for his patients in 1761.

After having my sugar fix for the day, I made my way over to the Royal Crescent. Admiring the row of terraced houses from the green, I turned to No 1 Royal Crescent, the first of the houses to be built on the row.

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No 1 Royal Crescent has had various occupants starting with a wealthy landowner, Mr. Henry Sandford, who lived at the house from 1776 – 1796. At one point in its history, the house was a seminary for young ladies. The Bath Preservation Trust is currently responsible for conserving the house and it is now a house museum decorated and furnished as it would have been during Sandford’s residence at the house.

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My tour of the house started in the morning parlour on the ground floor. The parlour had been laid out for breakfast. The residents of the house would have had their breakfast in this room, before having the table folded away to receive callers during the day.

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The study was my favourite room in the house. Especially with that telescope, writing desk and large chair, among the many interesting objects in the room. However, if I had visited the house in the 18th century, I would not have been able to see this room because it was the Gentleman’s retreat and according to the museum website “a sanctuary where a cultured Georgian might indulge his interests in science, inventions and the natural world”.

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The room on the other side of the ground floor was the formal dining room, which was usually opened when having guests over for dinner.

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Climbing the stairs to the first floor, I came across another set of two rooms. I walked into the room above the dining room which was called the ‘Withdrawing room’ where the ladies withdrew after dinner to have tea and play some music on the harpsichord.

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Across the floor was the lady’s bedroom, which was decorated in a soothing pastel and floral design.

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On the second floor was the Gentleman’s bedroom which had furniture by George Hepplewhite, one of the leading furniture makers of that time.

The best feature of the Gentleman’s bedroom was the lovely view of the Crescent.

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Using the stairs, I walked back down to the ground floor and further to the basement area. The kitchen passage lined with jars led to the kitchen and scullery.

It was interesting to see the kitchen equipment and utensils that had been in use. Meat and other perishable food was kept cool in the meat safe in the scullery, which was basically a cupboard away from the heat of the open range stove in the kitchen.

Two other rooms in the basement were the servants’ hall and the housekeeper’s room. Though sparsely furnished, the housekeeper had some privacy while she sorted out the bills and household requirements.

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The visit to No 1 Royal Crescent provided a lovely insight to how a wealthy resident in Bath would have lived in the 18th century. The house museum is definitely a must see during one’s visit to Bath.

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Disclaimer: The Bath Tourism Office kindly gave me a complimentary pass to Bath and regional attractions, for the purpose of this post. This pass allowed me free entry to No 1 Royal Crescent. All opinions are my own and I only recommend experiences I have enjoyed.

[I am linking this post to City Tripping #58 and Faraway Files #15]

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