baths lesser known crescents

Beyond the Royal Crescent – a guide to Bath’s lesser known crescents

4 May 2023

The Royal Crescent is one of Bath’s most famous landmarks, and quite rightly. It’s a hugely impressive sight, the dramatic sweep of the building curving around a pristine green lawn.

Built between 1767 and 1775 and designed by John Wood the Younger, the Royal Crescent is a Grade I listed building made up of 30 terraced houses. It overlooks Royal Victoria Park, and is widely considered one of the best examples of Georgian architecture in the UK.

But what about Bath’s other crescents? The city is actually home to several magnificent crescents, some of which are overlooked by visitors and day trippers. Here’s our guide to a handful of the best, and why they’re well worth visiting.

Camden Crescent

Built by John Eveleigh in 1788, Camden Crescent is located in the north of the city between Walcot and Camden. Originally named Upper Camden Place, it’s made up of three-storey houses. At the southern end, the basements of the houses are at ground level due to the contours of the land.

Camden Crescent suffered serious damage in 1789 following a landslide, which completely destroyed nine houses at the eastern end of the crescent. They weren’t rebuilt, and Hedgemead Park now stands in their place.

If you want to feel like you’re stepping back in time, why not stay in the crescent itself – at our Camden Crescent apartment?

Lansdown Crescent

Located on Lansdown Hill with fabulous views over Bath, Lansdown Crescent is a spectacular landmark that arguably deserves to be as famous as the Royal Crescent. It was designed by John Palmer and completed in 1793.

Lansdown Crescent forms the first part of a string of curving terraces, which includes Somerset Place – which we’ll look at next. A concave crescent in contrast to the convex terraces which surround it, it’s made up of 20 four-storey houses in total.

Somerset Place

This Grade I listed Georgian crescent was designed by John Eveleigh, the same architect responsible for Camden Crescent. Unfortunately, Somerset Place took over 30 years to build, finally being completed in the 1820s. Before it could be finished, Eveleigh declared bankruptcy.

In more bad luck for the crescent, parts of it were destroyed during WWII, later being rebuilt as student accommodation. Since the 2010s, the western end of the terrace has undergone redevelopment.

The Circus

While not strictly a crescent, the Circus in Bath deserves its place in this list thanks to its beautiful circular structure. It’s made up of three curved segments or crescents, which form a circle with three entrances.

Originally called King’s Circus, it was designed by John Wood, the Elder and built between 1754 and 1768. The architect died before it could be finished, so his son John Wood, the Younger (designer of the Royal Crescent) finished it on his father’s behalf.

Interestingly, the Circus and Queen Square (plus adjoining Gay Street) forms the shape of a key when viewed from the air. This is a masonic symbol, similar to those appearing on many of John Wood, the Elder’s buildings.
Planning a crescent-spotting trip to Bath? Stay at one of our beautiful city centre apartments, and you’ll be within walking distance of them all.