Ahead of the curve
ON May 19, 1767, almost 250 years ago to the day, the foundation stone was laid for Bath’s iconic Royal Crescent. The elegant arc of 30 Georgian terraced houses, overlooking Royal Victoria Park, with its impressive ha-ha, has since become synonymous with the city itself, which is also marking 30 years since it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This Sunday (May 21), a Natural Theatre Company troupe will lead a procession, transporting a piece of Bath stone from the quarry through the city, collecting revellers on the way, to lay at the foot of the No 1 Royal Crescent museum. Foundation Stone Day is free to attend.
Other celebrations include A Day in the Life of the Royal Crescent (also free) on July 29, which will feature tethered balloon rides from the lawn, costumed characters performing the stories of people who lived on the crescent and Georgian ice cream. Members of the public are encouraged to bring a picnic.
Exhibitions across Bath this summer to further mark the occasion include ‘A View from the Crescent’ at No 1 Royal Crescent, showing how artists have portrayed the landmark (June 24 to November 19), and ‘Past, Present, Future: Bath, Modernism and the Smithsons’ at the Museum of Bath Architecture, exploring how the Royal Crescent inspired England’s most influential postsecond World War architects and other modern designers (June 24 to November 26).
Bath’s Royal Crescent is celebrating its 250th birthday this year