Royal Crescent

Royal Crescent information

Lonely Planet review

Bath is rightly celebrated for its glorious Georgian architecture, and it doesn't get any grander than on Royal Crescent , a semicircular terrace of majestic town houses overlooking the green sweep of Royal Victoria Park. Designed by John Wood the Younger (1728–82) and built between 1767 and 1775, the houses were designed to appear perfectly symmetrical from the outside, but the original owners were allowed to design the interiors to their own specifications; consequently no two houses on the Crescent are quite the same. They would originally have been rented for the summer season by wealthy socialites, who descended on Bath to indulge in a whirlwind programme of masquerades, dances, concerts and tea parties.

For a glimpse into the splendour and razzle-dazzle of Georgian life, head for the beautifully restored house at No 1 Royal Crescent , given to the city by the shipping magnate Major Bernard Cayzer, and since restored using only 18th-century materials. Among the rooms on display are the drawing room, several bedrooms and the huge kitchen, complete with massive hearth, roasting spit and mousetraps.

A walk east along Brock St from the Royal Crescent leads to the Circus , a ring of 33 houses divided into three terraces. Plaques on the houses commemorate famous residents such as Thomas Gainsborough, Clive of India and David Livingstone.

To the south along Gravel Walk is the Georgian Garden , restored to resemble a typical 18th-century town house garden.