Fab Photo – Bath Abbey and Bath

Bath Abbey is more formally known as the Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul and is in the city of Bath, in England. The Benedictine Abbey was founded in the 7th century. The present church dates to the 12th century with major restoration in the 16th and, later, the 19th centuries. There is beautiful fan vaulting in the nave and really nice stained glass.

Bath Abbey from next to the Georgian Pump Rooms

Bath Abbey from next to the Georgian Pump Rooms

Looking toward Bath Abbey from the Roman Baths Museum

Looking toward Bath Abbey from the Roman Baths Museum

The Abbey is well known as the location where King Edgar was crowned by Dunstan (later St. Dunstan) in 973, the first in the unified Kingdom of England to be formally crowned in this manner. He had actually been king for many years by this time and died 2 years later. He was acknowledged as the king and liege lord over any minor regional kinds and the coronation marked that. This window below is Victorian and commemorates the coronation.

Bath Abbey stained glass window

Bath Abbey stained glass window

Bath as a city was originally Roman who found hot mineral springs there and created baths and temples and named it Aquae Sullis. The City was not abandoned or in disrepair as is most commonly thought but during Georgian times, it became popular as a spa destination and architects John Wood the Elder and the Younger, along with businessman Ralph Allen, built up the city and it became THE place to be and be seen in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Today, the elegant Georgian architecture sweeps up the gentle hills and surrounds the leafy squares. Many of the buildings from that era are constructed with a honey coloured Bath Stone from nearby quarries. The two most famous places are the Circus, three curved sets of houses around a round square and the Royal Crescent, a long curve of very elegant houses overlooking a sloped field of grass. The fronts of these houses are all similar but the owner would purchase a house or two and finish the inside and back individually so they are all different behind the facade. Those houses now sell for over a million pounds!

The Royal Circus, Bath

The Royal Circus, Bath

The Roman Baths have been excavated and there’s a very good museum where you can explore the ruins. There’s also the fancy Georgian Pump Rooms which were used by the social set to take the waters of the baths and have sophisticated cups of tea after.

Elsewhere in the city there are a number of good museums and there are festivals held through the year celebrating music, books, arts and beer! It’s also famed as one of the locations where author Jane Austen spent some time and she based several of her books or parts of them in Bath. There is a Jane Austen centre for fans. The Fashion Museum, located in the Assembly Rooms building is one of my favourite places.

Bringing films into it, there are a few that I enjoy that have been filmed here, including Persuasion, Vanity Fair, and The Duchess. One of the last covered bridges in the U.K. crosses the River Avon, the Pulteney Bridge and has shops inside it.

Bath is one of my favourite cities though it can be *very* crowded especially during school holidays and bus tour season.  I love the architecture and the lovely shops and museums. It’s a busy city and outside of the Georgian centre, looks much like any other city but it’s still one of the places that inspires me.

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