No. 1 Royal Crescent provides visitors with an opportunity to look beyond the Crescent's famous Palladian facade and see what life was like for the wealthy and their servants in eighteenth-century Bath. Built between 1767 and 1774 to the designs of the architect John Wood the Younger, the Royal Crescent is justly considered one of the finest achievements of eighteenth-century urban architecture, and represents the highest point of Palladian architecture in Bath.
No. 1 was the first house to be built in the Crescent, and originally provided luxury accommodation for the aristocratic visitors who came to take the waters and enjoy the social season. Each room is an exquisite example of Georgian interior design with authentic furniture, paintings, textiles and carpets. The superbly-appointed dining room is set for dessert, whilst the elegant withdrawing room is ready for fashionable visitors to take tea. The gentleman’s retreat reveals the interests of No. 1’s first resident, Mr Henry Sandford, including travel and discoveries, electricity and agriculture as well as local gossip and news. Upstairs are a gentleman’s and a lady’s bedroom, with original paraphernalia and fittings. Below stairs are the original kitchen and scullery, coal-holes and servant’s corridors, the housekeeper’s room and servants' hall. Guides in every room bring the house to life with stories of the past.
Open every day between 10am and 5pm (last admission 4pm) the museum visit includes an introductory video, setting the scene, and a welcome at the font steps by a housekeeper or footman in period costume. Children can pick up a No. 1 Detective explorer pack and search for clues throughout the house. They (and the adults!) can also dress up for selfies in the servants’ hall and a range of eighteenth century board games are put out.
The events programme is varied and extensive, covering activities such as Georgian cookery demonstrations, laundry, ladies’ make-up and wigs plus an annual lecture programme, exhibitions, costumed interpretation, conservation in action and a pop-up café. Pleaee look at the website for details. Every month we hold ‘museum lates’ with activities and servants in costume, keeping the house open until 10pm.
Throughout December the house is dressed for a Georgian Christmas with the dining room table groaning under the weight of painted pastries, sugar-craft work, glazed fruits and syllabubs. In candlelight, the house has a different atmosphere and your imagination can take you back in time 250 years!
We are a 20 minute walk from Bath Spa train station. See the TrainLine for trains to Bath.
And just a 10 minute stroll from the Tourist Information Centre in Bog Island.
The nearest car park is Charlotte Street which is 5 minute walk away. For more details on the city’s car parks, please visit the Bath & North-East Somerset Council Website.
The nearest stops for First Buses are:
Nile Street Stop on the Upper Bristol Road – Routes 1, 14, 38 and x39
Alfred Street Stop on Lansdown Road – Routes 6 and 7
The City Sightseeing buses stop on the Royal Avenue and at the Royal Crescent.
Our Access Statement provides advice for visitors with special needs.
* Last entrance is at 4pm.
Closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.
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