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A museum explaining Bath's 18th century transformation

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On the northern side of the city is a 17th century Gothic chapel. It's named after the Countess of Huntingdon, a religious leader who funded its construction. It's no longer used for services; instead, the chapel houses the Building of Bath Museum.
The exhibitions are run by the Bath Preservation Trust, an organisation dedicated to protecting the city's historic character. Their museum looks at the extensive Georgian development of the 18th century. When they started to build, Bath was just a small town like any other. By the time they'd finished, it was the most fashionable spa in England. The museum has a particular focus on the stunning architecture that was created during this time. The buildings are what give the city its the distinctive character. Thanks to them, it is a World Heritage site, and the pride of the entire country.
The exhibits take an extremely detailed look at the development of a typical house, from design to construction. You'll learn about every stage of the process, leaving no stone unturned. One of the displays even looks at stone mining!
A comprehensive collection of tools gives further insight into the techniques that were used during the construction process. The displays of fixtures and fittings allow you to examine the nuts and bolts of how a house is held together.
Once a building had been completed, it was sold, and the new residents moved in. However, the museum doesn't stop here. It also looks at how these residents would have decorated their property, and what furniture they would have used.
All of the exhibits make use of a fantastically varied range of items. As well as the tools and fixtures, there are paintings, maps and live craft shows. You'll also find examples of wallpapers, and soft furnishings.
The most eye-catching exhibits are the detailed models, showing various buildings at different stages of their life. The best of these is undoubtedly the model of Bath itself. This is a reconstruction of the Georgian city, at a 1-to-500 scale. You can see the old layout of the settlement, and how it differs to the present day. The craft work is amazingly detailed, and it really gives an insight into the incredible feats that those 18th century architects achieved.
Visitor Information
The Building of Bath Museum is open Saturday to Monday, February to November, 10.30am to 5pm. Entry costs around £4 for adults, £2 child. Tel: 01225 333895

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