Street Scenes, Bath
Looking down the long mock-Palladian oolite monotonies of Great Pulteney Street, with its architecture in symmetry with the intervening fountain , the spray of which is often augmented by the rain which drifts upon the lovely, melancholy city from its encircling hills.
The celebrated architect Thomas Baldwin constructed Great Pulteney Street in 1789, at the behest of Sir William Pulteney. At 1000 feet by 100 feet it has classical proportions reminiscent of some famous French boulevards and remains one of Bath's breathtaking sights.
The street figured prominently in the Hollywood Movie "Vanity Fair" and contains the famous Windsor and Carfax Hotels.
It's very nice to do nothing more than wander around the streets of Bath - as well as the elegant architecture there's plenty of greenery to enjoy and the River Avon to walk alongside - for the shoppers there's the usual modern outlets plus quaint shops tucked away in the city's back streets - it's a very nice city
There were loads of old junk, bric-a-brac & antique shops on the way as we drove into Bath, I could have spent all day browsing around all these old things.
Old things fancinate me, especially photograph frames that still have the old photos still in them, even though I could never know who was in the pictures, I always get a feeling of affection towards the people in them and wonder what their life was like in that bygone era.
If I were ever in the money, I would love to collect old antiques, especially the old French elaborate and very ornamental ones. I wouldn't care if they were worth money or not, and wether I was making an investment for the future? I would just collect them and love them for the splendid specimens of art that they are.
If we ever see the programme 'The antiques roadshow' on TV, any old furniture, ornament, lamp or painting etc that I fall in love with, always comes either from France or the Orient. I suppose that's not so strange really, as I've always believed in reincarnation and know that I 'lived' in the Orient and France in two of my past lives.
Just driving through a place and keeping an artful eye out, you can always find wonderful scenery, i know I always do anyway, and sometimes even something ugly is beautiful in it's own artistic way.
The first two pictures are of a bridge for which trains go over, a viaduct or something? It looks like part of a railway track to me anyway. I don't know what it is, to be honest, I dont really care, and I don't mind that you can see the glare on the window of the car and showing me taking the picture, as it all adds something a little different to the picture, I really like it.
The next picture is the road actually coming in to Bath after we had left the motorway, the M5, coming out of Gloucestershire, that is really a pretty road to drive down too, even if it does look like very many roads in to old towns and cities, they all have their place in history and people's memories.
Then there is the view right over the city of Bath. We drove up this big winding hill, and the views were spectacular! but, there was nowhere that you could stop off and take a photograph from? Not that I'm worried about what photos I show anyone else, I always do photographs just for myself. Anyway, we came up on a big old house with a great big drive way, and guess what, yes, they had the best view of all ... AND a sign on their drive saying 'Private'! Private my arse! they own the house they live in, they own the ground that surrounds it, but to me, they do not own the view from their house or ground! So I got out of the car, stood in their driveway, right in front of the private sign and took the photographs that I wanted to!
If there's one sport they do like in Bath, it's Rugby Union, though you don't need to add the word "Union" around these parts. A stroll across Pulteney Bridge will soon make you aware you're in a rugby town when you pass the local rugby shop.
However, should you be there on a Saturday and the local team is playing to a sell out crowd, especially against the previously unbeaten leaders, then you might find it's a bit elbow-to-elbow around the streets and if you think you're going to get a space to park your car, that's after you've spent over an hour "driving" the last 3 miles, then forget it. This is where private helicopters come in handy.
The local pubs are chock-a-block and colourful scarves abound. Even the local free tourist guide isn't available on Saturday afternoons. It was so different to when I was previously there on a midweek day.
By the way, they won by two points.
Into history? You'll love Bath. Names just roll off the tongue. Try William Pitt, Gainsborough (dab hand with a brush - pardon the pun), William Wilberforce, Lord Clive, David Livingstone, Governor Arthur Phillip (my Aussie connection) just to name a few.
An interesting sidelight to Phillip is that he died when his wheelchair went through an upstairs window.
This building houses an art gallery and souvenir shop and, just to the right, out of picture, is a devonshire tea house where you can indulge indoors or al fresco.
The Holburne gallery is, according to informed sources, not as well maintained as the nearby Victorian gallery.
This is a detail of the Parade Gardens, not far from the railway station, exemplifying just what splendid places British Gardens can be.
Blow it up and you'll see just how much effort went into conjuring up this wonderful message.
When British troops and mariners went to Spain during the Napoleonic Wars, they took notice of the beautiful balconies that lined streets in Cadiz and other cities. If you've been there (Spain) you will see them everywhere in the older parts of town. The British that returned, those with lots of money, had their homes in Bath outfitted with similar balconies, like the one on this street.
Have a look in Bath and notice them!
During much of the 17th through 19th centuries a tax was levied on homes with more than a certain number of windows, six windows for time and later eight. To avoid paying the tax some homeowners closed up the windows with brick, probably in the rooms of the servants' quarters. If you keep an eye on the upper floors you will see several examples of these windows.
I heard this is where the expression "daylight robbery" comes from.
Bath has such lovely streets, so much so that I recommend just wandering around as something to do! You'll likely end up doing so unintenionally because most of the tourist attractions are within reasonable walking distance of each other anyhow. Make sure to stop to admire the beautiful architecture every once in a while :)
After seeing these beautiful places in Bath, why not sit back, relax, have a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy the Street Scenery?
A colonnaded street leading to the Cross Bath at one end and the Pump Room and Roman Baths Museum at the other.
Watch the street performers in front of the Abbey and Pump Room.
Some of these folks are pretty funny and like to use audience participation.