Sunday, 8 May 2011

Which sack?

Some of you may remember the book, 'The Sack of Bath', written many years ago and a key influence in stopping the maniacs who are in charge of our heritage from selling any more of it to property developers in the 1960s and 1970s, and some of you may remember a little glimpse of 17th century architecture that we can see from the rear windows of our apartment, here in the city centre. If you do, you may also recall how I tried - in vain - to stop this rare bit of 1600s gable from being smeared in neat cement by a bunch of complete arseholes who should have been stopped by the authorities that I alerted before the event that I predicted took place.

When the Georgians destroyed medieval Bath to build a new city, they also destroyed most of the 17th century architecture but, here and there, tucked away and built around and over, a few little gems from around 1650 have survived, and the above photo is of one of them, behind the retail complex which houses Jamie Oliver's restaurant where we had dinner tonight.

What did the 70's and 80's administration allow to be built in the place of the charming, Georgian terraces they sold to the developers? Why, places like 'The Podium' above, which is so universally despised that they are thinking of knocking it down and starting again - unless Waitrose buys them out and takes on the whole bloody lot.

These places really do need to be knocked down, because the scrimping on materials and increased traffic in Bath is - despite the banning of all coal-fires in the city - beginning to eat away at the very fabric of the 30 year-old structures, as you can see from this photo of a pillar which 'holds up' our branch of Habitat, situated right next to some traffic lights, where engines are raced on the green signal every day. Don't worry, there is a massive steel beam inside that thin crust of inferior Bath stone, so Habitat will be ok.


  1. Apologies for 2 posts in one day.

  2. Two posts are welcome! May we have another detailing your own mid-life crisis? Saxophones, drums, etc. Is it over yet?

  3. It's only just begun, Mise, but I'm not sure I will live long enough to see the full-blown symptoms.

  4. I adore old mullioned windows. That Habitat pillar is a bloody disgrace!

  5. It was a bloody disgrace BEFORE it started to rot, Cro. It is a perfect example of the stupid 1980s architect fad for 'neo-classicism', as is the stupid, bloody Podium - round and half-round windows arbitrarily placed; nods toward classical mouldings with bands of plain stone set above and below pillars (with no entasis); glazing bars with arbitrary proportions where no glazing bars are required, etc. etc. - Bath being Bath, it was a prime target for this sort of nonsense, mainly because the planners are so ill-educated that they gave ego-maniac architects a free rein and the developers helped the fuck-up by also giving them a tight budget.

    See next post!