Posts Tagged ‘Pump Room’

Gentle Readers, Nicola Hyman, one of the authors of The Pump Room Orchestra, Three Centuries of Music and Social History, a book that she co-wrote with her musician husband, Robert, sent me this information about music in the Pump Room. The book is available at Hobnob Press in the UK.

The Pump Room Orchestra is believed to be the first resident band in the country to play in an assembly room in the early 1700s. The book chronicles the three hundred year old history of this Band, from its inception to today. Beau Nash founded the Band and, during his sojourn, his supremacy over its management was unequalled. However, over the decades municipal philistinism, wars, economic slumps and the appeal of (usually Italian), virtuosi in Bath threatened its almost unbroken continuity. Handel visited Bath in 1749 and collaborated with Thomas Chilcot whose support of the Pump Room Band leader, during one of its most intense conflicts, is explored in the book. Thomas Linley and William Herschel both played in the Band in the 1760s. Haydn enthused over the progress of the new Grand Pump Room built in 1795 where the present Trio play. The glamorous backdrop of eighteenth century Bath was underpinned by a climate of fierce rivalry and partisan affiliations among many musicians, many who struggled to survive.

Several fine German musicians were directors or members of the Pump Room Orchestra during the nineteenth century, including up to the Great War, the great grandfather of Bristol based composer Richard Barnard. Bath was now a more sober city, its appeal as a resort diminishing and the Corporation’s control of the Pump Room Orchestra a constant challenge. During bleak pre Great War years, Holst conducted the Orchestra for the first performance of his Somerset Rhapsody.

During the Spa hey day of the 1920s ‘cellist Gilhermina Suggia, contralto Edna Thornton , violinist Daniel Melsa, Arthur Rubenstein and Solomon are just a few of the well known guest soloists who played with the Orchestra. Sir Thomas Beecham conducted the Orchestra several times during this period. Elgar was another guest conductor. As Spa Director, John Hatton’s progressive style of marketing revived Bath as a tourist attraction. A thriving Pump Room Orchestra reflected the unique collaboration Hatton had with Jan Hurst, the Orchestra’s director.

In the late 1930s the Orchestra was directed by the distinguished Maurice Miles and concerts were regularly aired on the BBC. His predecessor, the brilliant and popular ‘showman’ Edward Dunn, had emigrated to South Africa. Dunn’s role as Durban’s Director of Music led him after the War to build up an International Arts League of Youth Festivals across South Africa. While, after the Second World War, the direction of the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Northern Ireland Orchestra were among Maurice Miles’s later roles.

However, it is the forgotten army of predominantly rank and file players in the Orchestra which is a central theme in the book. Many of these players were given solo roles and played in chamber ensembles in the Pump Room. Our research has divulged fascinating cameos, many tragic but many invested with astonishing devotion to music in the Pump Room and to Bath. One example was Lawrence Lackland who switched, at Lionel Tertis’ suggestion, to viola, and whose father was a violinist in St Helens under Thomas Beecham’s early orchestra.

The Pump Room Trio at the fountain

A piano trio was the phoenix from the ashes of the Second World War, an unbroken legacy to this day. Now two violinists share the role dividing the 363 days of music in the Pump Room between them. All four members of the Trio are experienced, conservatoire trained musicians (RCM, RAM, RNCM, the Juilliard School).
People from all over Britain and the world come to the Pump Room. For many the visit is a regular pilgrimage, whether they be tourists or academics; their awe of the building enhanced by the music. Many writers, researchers and musicians have shared their expertise and knowledge in the development of this book. It is a departure from the many histories of Bath which are usually focussed on its architecture and archaeology. As such it covers unchartered territory – the people who played in the Pump Room. Trevor Fawcett, the eminent social historian and 18th century expert on Bath, has kindly helped with editing and other suggestions. The book will be marketed in Bath and other Spa towns in Britain as well as other independent book shops in this country and overseas. The publisher John Chandler (see http://www.hobnobpress.co.uk) will oversee distribution and contributes to on-line sales sites, such as Amazon. The book is eagerly awaited by the many contributors, either as a relative of an Orchestra member, regular visitor to the Pump Room, research contributor or musician.
© Nicola and Robert Hyman

To order The Pump Room Orchestra, Bath: Three Centuries of Music and Social History

US customers can order the book at Amazon.com at this link.

Please find attached the website http://www.hobnobpress.co.uk for an order form for those readers who would like to purchase The Pump Room Orchestra, Bath: Three Centuries of Music and Social History. Robert Hyman, (who studied at the Juilliard School, New York) is a violinist in the Pump Room Trio in Bath. Together he and his wife Nicola have researched and written this history. The book has a Foreward by Tom Conti. Colour plates include a photo ‘Leaving the Pump Room’ of ladies dressed in costume for the annual Jane Austen Festival. Two chapters in the book explore music in the Pump Room when Austen first visited Bath. They are ‘When Jane Austen Came to Bath’ and ‘After Rauzzini’. There is also a chapter called Screen and Stage which chronicles movies filmed in and around the Pump Room; actors who visit or have visited the Pump Room, some because they are performing at the Theatre Royal in Bath, and also TV productions of Jane Austen’s novels, where many of the scenes were filmed in the Pump Room. UK customers can order the book directly from the publisher. 

November 2011, 214 pages + 8 pages of colour, £14.95. ISBN 978-0-946418-74-9.

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Panorama of Bath from Beechen Cliff, 1824, Harvey Wood

Inquiring Readers, Tony Grant, who lives in London, teaches, and acts as occasional tour guide, has been contributing articles to Jane Austen Today for several months. Recently, Tony and his family traveled to Bath and the West Country. This is one of many posts he has written about his journey. Tony also has his own blog, London Calling.

The Paragon from Travelpod

On Wednesday 6th May 1801 Jane wrote to Cassandra, from a house positioned on a hill half way up a road called, The Paragon, in Bath. It was her uncle and aunt’s, the Leigh Perrots, home. Her aunt was her mother’s sister. Jane and her mother and father had just arrived, just moved in and were getting settled into their rooms.

“ My dear Cassandra,

I have the pleasure of writing from my own room up two pairs of stairs, with everything very comfortable about me. Our journey here was perfectly free from accident or Event; we changed horses at the end of every stage, & paid almost at every turnpike;- we had charming weather, hardly any dust,& were exceedingly agreeable, as we did not speak above once in every three miles.- between Luggershall & Everley we made our grand meal…….”

Jane had arrived in Bath after a journey of about 50 miles from Steventon, her home.

Wood engraving of Steventon Rectory

She sounds excited and thrilled by the new experience for instance she has ,” my own room.” But perhaps she was trying to put a brave face on it, be positive and put the negatives to the back of her mind.

Claire Tomlin reminds us,

“ The decision by Mr and Mrs Austen to leave their home of over thirty years, taking their children with them, came as a complete surprise to her; in effect, a twenty fifth birthday surprise, in December 1800. Not a word had been said to anyone in advance of the decision.”

Jane had spent all her life in Steventon a quiet country village near Basingstoke in Hampshire. She knew the families who lived in the great houses and many were her friends. She knew the villagers of Steventon very well. It was the source of her imagination and she had developed her own intimate writing habits there. Her world , in a sense was turned upside down and she was being wrenched from this intimate, close world that she was comfortable in, to that of a bustling town, but not just any town.

The Bath Medley, the Pump Room, detail on a fan, 1735

Bath was the centre of Georgian ,”FUN.” Here people came for the medicinal benefits of the waters, dancing, parading in the streets in their finest clothes, drinking tea, and taking rides and walks out into the nearby countryside. It was a place to rest, to be seen and to meet new people. Many families brought their unmarried daughters here to find eligible spouses.

Dancing, Rowlandson, The Comforts of Bath

Bath was a magnet for the wealthy and comfortable middle classes who came and went with the season. It was a fluctuating population. Friendships could be brief. It was a hot house for relationships. Whether The Reverend George Austen had it in mind to find suitors for his two unmarried daughters, as part of his plan, is not certain. Jane however was definitely out of her comfort zone. She was a very astute judge of characters and she would not like much of the ostentatious show of Bath. People who went to Bath for the season behaved differently. Strangers were thrown together in a mix of fun and gaiety. Moral codes were loosened. You get a very strong sense of this in the description of Catherine Morelands first experiences of Bath in Northanger Abbey.

Comforts of Bath, The Pump Room, Rowlandson

To get to Bath from Steventon over the fifty mile journey, Jane took, she passed through many picturesque and beautiful villages and towns. Those places are still there today.

Overton, Andover, Weyhill, Ludgershall, Eveleigh, where the Austens stopped to take tea and rest, Upavon, crossing the River Avon at this point, Conock and Devizes where they probably rested again before the final stretch to Bath. Devizes is a bustling town today, traffic and shoppers, many small businesses, churches and chapels and still many magnificent Georgian buildings. Take away the cars, and dress the people differently and Devizes would still be very familiar to Jane. It still has very much of its Georgian character but it is a modern 21st century town too.Like modern day England, Devizes is a layer cake of history. There are bits from every era and it has and does thrive in all of them.

Strolling through Sydney Gardens

When I went to Bath this time I came in from a slightly different direction to Janes journey there in 1801. I came the south east, travelling from Stonehenge in Wiltshire. This road comes from high up in the hills to the south of Bath and the first sight of the city is from a steep, tree lined, Beckford Road which reaches Bath stretching along next to Sydney Gardens. It was a great pleasure and very exciting to come across, almost immediately on reaching Bath, number 4 Sydney Place, which was one of the houses Jane and her family rented.

Georgian terraced houses along the London Road, Bath

Jane entered Bath by way of the London Road which sweeps in from the east and curves across the top of the bend in the River Avon which borders the southern part of the City of Bath.The London Road leads straight to The Paragon, the road in which her aunt and uncle, The Leigh Perrots, lived and where Jane and her mother and father were to live until they found their own residence. Bath has not expanded in modern times much south of the river partly because of the steep hills there.

Old - Lower - Assembly Rooms

So there is an excited tone in Janes first letter from The Paragon. The excitement doesn’t last. Her aunt and uncle being residents in Bath, they at least know people to introduce Jane to. Unlike Catherine Moreland who meets nobody and knows no one at first. But what terrible people? Or is Jane just having a bout of sour grapes? Within weeks Jane is writing to Cassandra her comments about Bath acquaintances.

Wednesday 13th may 1801 writing to Cassandra

“I cannot anyhow continue to find people agreeable; I respect Mrs Chamberlayne for doing her hair well, but cannot feel a more tender sentiment.”

Mrs Chamberlayne is picked out for more effort. Jane tries to find something in common, tries to see if a new friendship can blossom.

Friday 22nd May 1801

“The friendship between Mrs Chamberlayne & me which you predicted has already taken place, for we shake hands whenever we meet Our grand walk to Weston was again fixed for yesterday & was accomplished in a very striking manner; Everyone of the party declined it under some pretence or other except our two selves, & we therefore had a tete a tete, but that we should equally have had after the first two yards, had half the inhabitants of Bath set off with us.- It would have amused you to see our progress;-we went up by Sion Hill, and returned across the fields,- in climbing a hill Mrs Chamberlayne is very capital; I could with diffuculty keep pace with her- yet would not flinch for the world.- On plain ground I was quite her equal- and so we posted away under a fine hot sun, She without any parasol or any shade to her hat, stopping for nothing ,& crossing the churchyard at Weston with as much expedition as if we were afraid of being buried alive.-After seeing what she is equal to, I cannot help feeling a regard for her.-As to agreeableness, she is much like other people.”

There is something final about this relationship as though it’s not going far, in two phrases, “The friendship between Mrs Chamberlayne & me which you predicted has already taken place,…..” and , “As to agreeableness, she is much like other people.”

Regency Bath

Jane uses the past tense already about the relationship with Mrs Chamberlayne and she finally concludes that she is much like other people. Nothing is going to happen here. Jane was a very guarded person, certainly didn’t suffer fools gladly, gave people a chance and discarded them for their mediocrity. Jane obviously needed something else in a relationship. Already she wasn’t in the mood for Bath.

Candle Snuffer, image Tony Grant

In the same letter she mentions house hunting. They have been looking at houses amongst Green Park Buildings. Green Park Buildings are situated near the river at the bottom of the town. They were obviously prone to flooding.

“ our views on GP building seem all at an end; the observations of the damps still remaining the offices of an house which has only been vacated a week, with reports of discontented families& putrid fevers have given the coup de grace.”

Nowadays the river near Green Park Buildings has high banks to prevent flooding and has been canalised. One of the main car parks, where we actually parked is near there. Also Bath Railway Station and The University of Bath is situated nearby these days.

For all this dire and damning report the Austens did move into Green Park Buildings. It could not have been very pleasant. Perhaps they thought their stay in The Paragon was prolonged enough and anything had to be taken.

Much of Jane’s remaining letters from Bath have some discussion about finding accommodation. The contracts on these houses seem to have been short term. Maybe this was because Bath was a seasonal place. People generally came for short periods of time. If you really wanted to live there permanently you would have to buy. Perhaps the Austens could not afford to do that. It begs the question, did Mr and Mrs Austen really think through their move to Bath carefully enough?

25 Gay Street, image Tony Grant

After Green Park Buildings the next set of letters come from number 25 Gay Street, just a few houses up the hill from The Jane Austen Centre. It is a dental practioners office today. The letters from Gay Street are the last from an address in Bath. However we also know that Jane lived at number 4 Sydney Street, a new house at the time overlooking a grand house which is now the Holburn Museum and its grounds, Sydney Park. This is by far one of the more pleasant situations Jane lived in.

Jane’s father died in a house in Trim Street not far from Queen Square and Gay Street. So another move had had to take place. In five years Jane had lived in at least five different house all providing differing qualities of living.

Side Street, Bath, image by Tony Grant

You can find this reflected in the two novels that concern themselves most with Bath, Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. In Persuasion Anne Elliot finds an old school friend, Mrs Smith, living in poor circumstances.

“Her accommodations were limited to a noisy parlour , and a dark bedroom behind, with no possibility of moving from one to the otherwithiout assistancewhich there was only one servant in the house to affordand she never quitted the house but to be conveyed into the warm bath.”

Mrs Smith’s accommodation was in Westgate Buildings not far from the Pump Room. Mrs Smith’s husband had died leaving her almost penniless but because of her health the warm bath treatment was seen as a cure. Her life was certainly not one of fun and frivolity. It seems, like in any city and town today, in the 18th century, the poor and destitute and the wealthy are not far from each other. Anne Elliot seems to prefer the company of Mrs Smith rather than the fripperies that Bath had to offer. She knows the right people and could have fun if she wanted to. Anne Elliot can see the two sides of Bath.

Side view of Bath Abbey, image Tony Grant

Jane Austen knew Bath extremely well. Throughout Persuasion and Northanger Abbey she houses her characters in real streets and in real buildings, although she does avoid giving us the number of the house in such and such a street. The real owners and occupants might not have liked the notoriety. And today they might not like the notoriety as well. Was there such a thing as litigation in the 18th century? I’m sure there was.

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Cheap Street with hills in the distance, image from Tony Grant

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Visitor Books, Pump Room, Northanger Abbey

Visitor's Book, Pump Room

With more than usual eagerness did Catherine hasten to the Pump-room the next day, secure within herself of seeing Mr. Tilney there before the morning were over, and ready to meet him with a smile; – but no smile was demanded – Mr. Tilney did not appear. Every creature in Bath, except himself, was to be seen in the room at different periods of the fashionable hours; crowds of people were every moment passing in and out, up the steps and down; people whom nobody cared about, and nobody wanted to see; and he only was absent. “What a delightful place Bath is,” said Mrs. Allen as they sat down near the great clock, after parading the room till they were tired; “and how pleasant it would be if we had any acquaintance here.” Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey Chapter IV

Gentle readers, before you continue please be aware that this post features a series of vignettes and memories from people who wrote their recollections about the historic Pump Room in Bath, so prominently mentioned in Northanger Abbey during Catherine Morland’s visits there with her benefactors, the Allens. In honor of Austenprose’s coverage of Northanger Abbey for the month of October, I have gathered observations about the Pump Room that were placed online from periodicals and journals of Jane Austen’s time. Please enjoy the reviews of Jane’s contemporaries and predecessors:

In 1678 a single woman named Celia Fiennes journeyed to Bath and wrote in her journal:

Promenade in the Pump Room, Isabella Thorpe and Catherine Morland

Promenade in the Pump Room, Isabella Thorpe and Catherine Morland

All the baths has the same attendance, the Queen’s bath is bigger than the other three but not a neare so big as the King’s, which do run into each other and is only parted by a wall and at one place a great arch where they run into each other; the Queen’s bath is a degree hotter than the Cross bath, and the King’s bath much hotter; these have all gallery’s round and the pump is in one of these galleryes at the Kings bath which the Company drinks of; its very hot and tastes like the water that boyles eggs, has such a smell, but the nearer the pumpe you drinke it the hotter and less offencive and more spiriteous. (Celia Fiennes (1662-1741), was a grand-daughter of Lord Saye and Sele. It was not unusual for single ladies to travel about the country during the 1600s. Her journal was not published until 1688.)

The Comforts of Bath, Rowlandson, The Pump Room, 1798

The Comforts of Bath, Rowlandson, The Pump Room, 1798

Since Roman times, Bath’s hot mineral springs have pumped a quarter of a million gallons of spring water a day at a steady temperature of 49°c. In 1708, Thomas Harrison built the Bath Assembly House, for which the public paid fees to dance and gamble. During mid-18th to early 19th century, Bath’s population exploded from 2,000 to 38,000, becoming the eighth largest city in England by 1801. Three men – Ralph Allen, post master; John Wood, architect; and Beau Nash, fashion and social arbiter – contributed to this up and coming city’s popularity with the leisure classes. Developer John Wood followed the Palladian concept of the architectural ideal, constructing magnificent squares, parades, and buildings out of softly-hued, beautiful honey-coloured Bath stone. Ralph Allen contributed much of his personal fortune to Bath’s rebuilding, and Beau Nash organized Bath’s social life and balls, bringing in musicians from London, exerting his influence as a dandy, and becoming a leader of fashion. The original Pump Room, erected in 1706, quickly became too small for the increasing numbers of visitors. It was enlarged in 1751, a new portico was added in 1786, and a new frontage was constructed in 1791. Even so, the renovations were inadequate. An entirely new room that was eighty-five feet long, forty-six feet wide, and thirty-four feet high was constructed in 1796.

It was in digging for the foundation of this building that the valuable and interesting remains of the Roman temple of Minerva were discovered. So far did the new buildings surpass those of the old town in architectural beauty that steps were taken in 1789 for modernizing and improving it, and an Act of Parliament was obtained empowering the Corporation to raise the Sum of 80,000 upon their estates and other securities for the purpose of improving the city by the erection of new streets and widening of others. It was under the powers of this Act that the present pump room, Union street, Bath street, and Hot Bath street were erected, Cheap street widened and other improvements effected.The Gentleman’s Magazine

Statue of Beau Nash in the Pump Room

Statue of Beau Nash in the Pump Room

Visitors promenaded up and down the great room, and drank the waters from eight or nine in the morning until three in the afternoon. The main spring that feeds the fountain “is in the centre of the King’s Bath where it is retained in a large leaden cistern at the bottom from which pipes conduct the water used for drinking the principal of which conveys it to the fountain of the pump room and most certainly an uninformed spectator would suppose that the identical liquid was drunk in which the people were bathing.The British Magazine

“In the Pump Room itself, an orchestra played while visitors drank the obligatory quantity of the water. Lydia, in Smollett’s novel Humphrey Clinker, describes the experience: “The noise of the music playing in the gallery, the heat and flavour of such a crowd, and the hum and buzz of their conversation, gave one the headache and vertigo&.” (The gallery in question, reached by a ladder, was semi-circular and contained five musicians led by a trumpeter). The Bath Herald in 1799 was rather more enthusiastic: “The Pump Room Band is one of the oldest and best establishments of this place; it draws visitor and inhabitant to one general place of morning rendezvous, whilst the inspiring melody of the Orchestra spreads a general glow of happiness around. Bath Baroque

Facade of the Pump Room

In 1811 a Canadian visitor visited Bath and described the Pump Room in his journal:

The gentlemen dressed in breeches stockings and cocked hats; the ladies in the most superb manner – pelisses laced with gold cords and Hussars’ hats, having three circles of gold cord round them with two great tassels of gold upon the left side. What is called a reticule, which contains their pocket-handkerchief and work, is hanging by a gold chain to the arm, and is fringed with gold. I went to the Pump Room, which is very large and grand. On one side is the pump, where a woman stands and distributes old King Bladud’s waters to old and young, sick and ill. An old duchess of eighty and a child of four were both drinking the waters while I was there. I had a glass; it is very hot and tastes very mineral. At one end of the room is an orchestra, where bands of music are continually playing. The company at the same time walking up and down in crowds, not minding the music, but buzzing like merchants on ‘change. At the end of each tune they clap their hands and kick up or not for what they don’t know. – The Early Days of the Nineteenth Century in England, 1800-1820 1800-1820. By William Connor Sydney

Pump Room with Chandelier and Music Gallery

Pump Room with Chandelier and Music Gallery

The baths to which the city chiefly owes its celebrity and wealth are five in number: the King’s bath ,the Queen’s bath ,the Hot bath, the Cross bath ,and the Kingston bath, the last of which is the property of Earl Manvers. The others are the exclusive property of the corporation, who retain the management of them and from them and the profits of the Pump room obtain an income of about 1,500 a year. The revenue from the Pump room is derived from subscriptions for drinking the waters. The Pump room is an elegant and spacious hall built in 1797 for a promenade for the company and for drinking the waters it is 85 feet long 48 wide and 34 high the ceiling being supported by elegant Ionic pillars having at the cast end a statue of the celebrated Beau Nash who first officiated as master of the ceremonies. The baths are of course provided with all the appliances which luxury or sensitiveness can desire .The Hot bath derives its name from the superior heat of its waters, which average about 117 of Fahrenheit. The British Gazetteer, Political, Commercial, Ecclesiastical, and Historical Showing the Distances of Each Place from London and Derby-gentlemen’s Seats-populations … &c. Illustrated by a Full Set of County Maps, with All the Railways Accurately Laid Down … By Benjamin Clarke

Pump Room by Palmer

Palmer, Pump Room, 1804

One spring supplies the fountain in the Grand Pump Room, the King’s Public and Private Baths, the large tepid swimming bath, and the New Royal Private Baths adjoining the Pump Room Hotel, and the baths of the Mineral Water Hospital. A continual flow of the mineral water coming straight from the spring is supplied by a fountain in the Grand Pump Room. Formerly the internal treatment was much in vogue and large quantities of the hot water were ordered or taken without orders. At present the amount usually drunk is from four ounces to half a pint twice a day. The Climates and Baths of Great Britain Being the Report of a Committee of the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society of London By Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society of London, Robert Barnes, J. Mitchel Bruce, William Ewart, William Murrell

Entrance to the Pump Room

Entrance to the Pump Room

A year before her death in 1818, Queen Charlotte stayed in a house in Sydney Place.

A house was taken for her at 93 Sydney Place, and lavishly equipped; and a second house at 103 Sydney Place was reserved for her entourage, and for the Duke of Clarence, who arrived in the city on the same day. Bath welcomed the royal party enthusiastically and a contemporary, after describing the decorations, noted that, ‘tho the streets were crowded to an excess, not the least riot or confusion appeared; nor were groups of well-dressed females annoyed in their perambulations by the throwing of squibs or the firing of guns‘.”
Shortly after her arrival, the Queen’s granddaugher died in childbirth. After the funeral, the seventy-three year-old Queen returned to Bath for nearly a month. Queen Charlotte in Bath.

House on Pulteney Street, where Queen Charlotte Stayed

The House Where Queen Charlotte Stayed

“Her Majesty occupied a large house in Sydney Place.  She daily passed in a sedan chair to the Pump Room and graciously as well as gracefully acknowledged the obeisances of those who assembled to behold her.” Historic Houses in Bath, and Their Associations By Robert Edward Myhill Peach.

Taking the waters

Taking warm mineral waters from the King

Bath Timeline (1714-1820)

1738–Start of the construction of The Royal Mineral Water Hospital reflected a new period of faith in the healing properties of the waters. It is also notable as the only building on which the three men most responsible for the construction of Georgian Bath–John Wood the Elder, Beau Nash and Ralph Allen–collaborated. While the beneficial and healing properties of the water have always been acknowledged, modesty and decency have not always been inherent in Bath’s “spa culture.” John Wood the Elder writes at this time: “The Baths were like so many Bear Gardens, and modesty was entirely shut out of them; people of both sexes bathing by day and night naked.”

1777–Hot Bath rebuilt to the design of John Wood the Younger.

1783-98–Cross Bath rebuilt and then enlarged.

1788–New Private baths (now demolished) built between King’s Bath and Stall Street.

1790s–Great Pump Room built. While excavating the foundations for the new Great Pump Room, many of the
first finds relating to the Roman Temple were made.

1798–The publication of “The Comforts of Bath,” a satirical view of life in Bath, reflects the infamous lifestyle of elements of Georgian society. The Pump Rooms and the baths were the center of much revelry throughout this period when Bath became known as the “premier resort of frivolity and Fashion – Bath: A World Heritage Site

2007 Persuasion actors filing into the Pump Room

2007 Persuasion actors filing into the Pump Room, Bath Daily Photo

Pump Room and Roman Baths (blue Circle) and Bath Abbey (Red Rectangle)

Google Map: Pump Room (blue Circle) and Bath Abbey (Red Rectangle)

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The water from King Spring is no longer free

The water from King's Spring is no longer free

I am attending a conference this weekend (no, not the JASNA meeting in Chicago – drat). When I get back I will be publishing a series of posts about Bath in honor of Austenprose’s Gothic Northanger Abbey Month. Stay tuned for visits to Bath and its environs all month long. Meanwhile, feel free to visit the modern Pump Room in the link below.

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Facade of the Pump Room

Beck’s and Posh, one of my favorite food sites, visited the Pump Room in Bath in one of their posts.

Click here to read their fabulous post.

Palmer, Pump Room, 1804

More About the Pump Room and Bath:

Click here for the links to Bath on this site:

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