£1.4m awarded to No. 1 Royal Crescent Museum
5th April 2011
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded £1.4million to the Bath Preservation Trust to help transform the historic house museum at No. 1 Royal Crescent.
The grant from HLF will support works to reconnect No. 1 Royal Crescent with the building that once housed its servant quarters, in a project that will radically increase museum and exhibition space, whilst allowing for new education and archive facilities and presenting existing historic rooms in new ways to visitors.
The story of the house will be told from both upstairs and downstairs perspectives, giving the chance for visitors to explore different aspects of life in Bath during the Georgian period. The original kitchen, including rare surviving features, and service rooms in No. 1 and 1a will be restored and opened up.
Alongside new exhibition and interpretation opportunities, the reunification of the two buildings will allow the creation in No. 1 of dedicated learning space, providing hands-on activities for schools and visitor groups. The grant will also help fund a new website, including high quality content and web-based resources for e-learning.
Built between 1767 - 1774 to the designs of the architect John Wood the Younger, the Royal Crescent is justly considered one of the finest achievements of 18th century urban architecture. It is explicity mentioned as part of the 'Outstanding universal Value' of the City leading to bath's inscription as a World Heritage Site in 1987.
The Grade I listed No. 1 Royal Crescent was built in the 1760s by John Wood the Younger as the flagship house in the iconic Royal Crescent and located in the fashionable Bath Spa. It was used as the architectural model for the rest of the houses in the Crescent.
No. 1 Royal Crescent was transformed into a museum in the late 1960s by the Bath Preservation Trust and remains a popular tourist attraction, offering visitors the chance to see beyond the the famous Palladian façade and see what life was like for the wealthy in 18th century Bath.
No. 1a Royal Crescent sits next to the main house from which it was separated. In the 1770s was used as servants' quarters and was only separated from No 1 in the late 1960s. In 2006, 1a was bought by a local private charity, the Brownsword Charitable Foundation, with the intention that it should be reunited with No.1, allowing the buildings to be understood as a complete domestic interior as it might have been at the end of the 18th Century.
The Bath Preservation Trust will be working with a range of partners and encouraging local schools and visitors to get involved. There has already been significant assistance from the Brownsword Charitable Foundation; a number of other funding partners, together with the HLF, will make this project possible. The museum remains open in 2011.