Monday, 4 June 2012

A Georgian Experience for Elizabeth’s Jubilee

Street party decorations, and the end of a street party

We travelled by Eurostar to London, jumped in a cab to pick up a car at one of the few places open for hiring on this double public holiday diamond jubilee weekend. St Pancras station was packed but buzzing – red, white and blue everywhere. There were so many police too. Many roads were closed, with more to be closed before tomorrow (Sunday) along with all bridges between North and South – a cabbies nightmare!
Arriving in Bath we were pleased to see yet another of our accommodations as good (if not better) than it had appeared on the internet. Bathwick Street B&B is a real Georgian experience – the terrace was built by one of the original architects of Bath and lived in by one of the early artists. We had a huge bedroom and bathroom to ourselves and a shared large sitting room that you could imagine was straight out of a Jane Austen movie.
It had been a slow drive to Bath and a ‘party’ day in all the UK so all of the main attractions of Bath closed early and would remain closed on the Sunday. A perfect excuse to spend our time tracking down the houses and church of my ancestors!
What a great room! Our B&B in Bath
We found the house that my ggg grandfather Frederick Rowden and his mother lived in 1851 – at 22 New Bond Street – just a few doors down from the Post Office and around the corner from his parish church St Michaels. It was a much larger house than I expected as only two families were sharing this house in 1851 (mine at ‘22’ and a family of 5 at ‘22 ½’).
The other house/business I had hoped to find a remnant of was that of another ggg grandfather Richard Terry. He had a brewery and residence at 1 Northgate Street from around 1820 to 1825. My gg grandfather Alfred Terry was born there. This was the street that ran from the Abbey, past the Guild Hall to St Michaels (also the Terry parish). Unfortunately the ‘remnant’ described on the historical society website as being behind a shop was no longer there – that shop had been demolished and rebuilt as a supermarket.
projected light display onto the Roman Baths
We did manage to ‘sneak’ a look at the Roman Baths by having a yummy meal in the Pump Room restaurant – only open this week for dinner because of a music festival. To get to the toilets we got to walk ‘sort of’ through the baths area. Paul enjoyed himself as he offered to take pictures for a birthday group of Irish ladies – they wanted to keep him and smothered him in kisses!

One of the most kitsch decorated store windows
My ggg grandfather's house in Bath

St Michaels Church, Bath

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