No 1 Royal Crescent – By Jessica

posted in: Blog, UK | 2

It’s cold outside, but when we went to Bath, the sun was shining, the birds were chirping and everyone was smiling – it was, to put it simply, beautiful. After a visit to the world famous baths, mum and I decided to take the sightseeing bus to No 1 Royal Crescent, a Georgian town house. This is what I thought…

The bus ride in itself was slightly boring, and much less interesting about the bus ride in Bristol. The bus smelt disgusting and instead of having a real tour guide, you had to plug in earphones and listen to some uninformative commentary. Although Bath probably has some amazing sights and facts to learn about, I definitely didn’t get the impression of it from the bus. Plus, the bus sped by the sights really quickly, and we found it hard to spot what the audio-guide was talking about.
When we arrived at No 1 Royal Crescent, I was instantly struck by the absolutely incredible buildings and landscape. The green grass stretched out for miles, and the identical houses looked charming. We were greeted outside by friendly people in costume and, once inside, were given a booklet with a few key facts about the different rooms in the house.
Built between 1767 and 1774,  it was the first house built in the crescent, and is a Grade 2 building. I definitely think that it looks brilliant. It was stunning on the inside and outside, and I couldn’t wait to start walking around.
First we watched a brief video introduction, before walking into the first room. It was exquisitely decorated, but you could only stand in a section of it, and was not interactive at all. The short, undetailed information in our booklet was not really enough to give us a good idea of what happened there.
The dining room
After a few more rooms, we entered the dining room, which was definitely the highlight of the museum. The table was set out with various dishes, and a well-informed and enthusiastic lady talked us through the various aspects of mealtimes. I found it fascinating,
We went through lots more rooms, which all looked  wonderful, but I wasn’t being particularly enthused by much of it. I can only remember one fact, that servants were seen and not heard, so they entered through different doors to the owners of the house.
Most of the volunteers knew lots about the house, and were ready to tell you everything. However, some were not as familiar with the history, and the rooms felt awkward when they were in there with you. I definitely would have liked to learn more facts, so I think the introductory booklet we were given should really be more detailed, or information should be up on the walls. On the other hand, I enjoyed looking at some of the items in the house, including a lice comb for the lady of the house to scratch her head with, and the “cabinet of curiosities” which contained a dog tooth bag.
For only ten rooms and two galleries, No 1 Royal Crescent was quite a short place to visit, although it was fun. For a Georgian house, it looked pretty special but, it didn’t seem that different to other historic houses I’ve visited. It was interesting, but I didn’t find it particularly memorable. That might be my fault, but it hasn’t really stuck with me.
(My mum says she enjoyed it more than me, possibly because she is more of a fan of museums and stateley homes!)
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2 Responses

  1. Susanna

    This reminds me I need to take the girls to Bath. Bath was my very first trip front the US to the UK and hold a special place in my heart. Nice perspective.

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