15 Bladud Buildings, City Centre
15 Bladud Buildings forms part of a Grade II mid-18th century terrace of townhouses situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. It forms part of the approach to the Grade I Paragon, and cumulatively forms part of an architectural setpiece indicative of innovations in 18th century town planning utilising crescents and undulating terraces seen throughout the World Heritage Site. It shares its northern boundary wall with the Grade II* Walcot Steps that connects the Paragon and Walcot Street. 15 Bladud Buildings retains a significantly elevated dual position, with its four storey rear elevation forming the steep backdrop of Walcot Street, but works are focused on its principal Paragon elevation, particularly at ground floor. Notably, it features a historic incised street sign for ‘Bladud’s-Buildings’ along its platband and is consequently of elevated significance to the distinctive character of the Bath conservation area and its public realm.
The Trust is supportive in principle of the proposed works. Repairs to the pilaster stonework are urgently required before further damage is caused to historic fabric and the architectural interest of a listed building.
However, we suggest that further information is supplied to enable a properly informed assessment of the nature and scale of works proposed. Whilst the D&A Statement indicates that the existing railings would be re-mounted and we anticipate this would likely be into a new Bath stone base, no further material or design details are provided. We additionally highlight the beneficial works for the removal of ‘flaking paint’, but the scale of paint removal is unclear, such as whether this would be restrained to the Corinthian doorcase or extend to the entirety of the ground floor. We strongly encourage that all of the Bath stone-coloured paint on the ground floor is removed to restore the natural Bath stone façade of the building congruous to the rest of the terrace. However, we emphasise the need to protect the incised street sign as part of any permitted works.
There is very little information provided regarding how the pilaster would be repaired. Considering it forms a significant aspect of the original Corinthian doorcase, it understandably needs to be approached with great sensitivity to retain as much historic fabric as possible whilst ensuring its stability. We encourage the submission of a Method Statement to further elaborate on the proposed works.