Renovation work begins at No. 1A Royal Crescent
24th January 2012
The major restoration project to reunite Bath's famous Georgian townhouse museum at No. 1 Royal Crescent with its original servants' wing nect door has started.
Ken Biggs Contractors started work on the 1A Royal Crescent site on 9 January. This normally serene corner is now a hive of activity with workmen starting the restoration and modification work needed to reunite it with No 1 and open up substantially more rooms to the public. The basement kitchen and scullery will be the first rooms to be prepared, before the ground floor ticket hall, introduction room and shop are laid out. A Gentleman’s Retreat will also be brought back to life using information we uncovered about its past decoration and the interests of the first resident, Henry Sandford. The exterior of 1A will be returned to its more attractive Georgian appearance with restored Venetian windows and renovated stonework.
The works at 1A will continue until autumn, by which time the upstairs will house the Brownsword Gallery - an exhibition space where visitors can see various changing displays relating to the house, ranging from additional pieces of the museum’s collection to children’s drawings after a school visit. A lift will connect all three floors in 1A and in due course offer disabled access to two floors in No 1. These works will be followed by works to No 1, which will remain open whilst works are underway in No 1A.
The Brownsword Charitable Foundation (BCF) bought No.1A in 2006 to lease to the Bath Preservation Trust (which runs No.1 Royal Crescent). The BCF is also paying to renovate the building. These generous donations, along with a £1.4million Heritage Lottery Fund grant, have made the project possible although there is still a considerable sum to be raised before the project – called the Whole Story Project – can be completed.