2 Prior Park Buildings, Widcombe, Bath
2 Prior Park Buildings forms part of a Grade II early 19th century terrace attributed to John Pinch, situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. The terrace predominantly 3 ½ storeys in Bath stone ashlar, set symmetrically around a central tympanum. However, it is well set back from the roadside and largely concealed from view from Prior Park Road by an elevated band of mature trees and is accessed via two side lanes at Forefield Rise and Prior Park Cottages. The terrace forms part of the enclosed character of the public footpath alongside Mill Stream, and the historic boundary vernacular of the streetscape of the area is largely uniform in its use of iron railings mounted on stone footings and incised stone piers; some dwellings have since lost their railings, but their original presence is evidenced by retained traces of historic railing fixings and stubs in the stonework.
Planning consent was granted in 2009 for the reinstatement of traditional-style railings with spear head at 9 Prior Park Buildings to match existing samples at adjacent properties such as Hope Cottage, and between 11-12 Prior Park Buildings; railings of a similar style are also present along Mill Stream (see 09/03062/LBA).
BPT is therefore supportive of the reinstatement of boundary railings in a matching style and finish, using the original historic fixings in the stone footing. We feel this would positively reinstate an attractive feature of aesthetic and architectural value to the uniform, well-balanced character and appearance of a Grade II terrace, and would preserve and enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area. The use of wrought iron is a positive return to the original material vernacular of the area and would enhance the special historic and architectural significance of a listed building.
We commend the use of traditional techniques such as lead pooling to fix the railings which would be of benefit to the material integrity of a listed building as well as being preferable for ongoing future maintenance to the existing stone footings than other modern cement or plastic-based alternatives.
We are supportive of the proposed design amendments to the existing gate to match the proposed railing design, although further details may be required as to the proposed means of fixing the new finials to the gate.