20 Belmont, City Centre, Bath
20 Belmont forms part of an extensive terraced group of Grade II late 18th century houses at 1-20 Belmont, situated within the Bath Conservation area and World Heritage Site. The building occupies an end of terrace position on the corner of Guinea Lane, featuring as part of a four storey section of terrace where an additional storey has been added at parapet level in contrast with the three storey stepped progression of heights further along the south end of the terrace. No. 20 incorporates a later 19th century solid wall porch at ground floor level, as well as a castellated single storey side extension of an unspecified date. The terrace remains largely homogenous in its rhythmic, uniform elevational treatment in Bath stone ashlar, window placement and articulation, and and use of shared detailing such as the second floor dentilled cornicing, though in places this has been somewhat offset by later additions. A consistent boundary treatment has been implemented of wrought iron railings set into a low ashlar stone coping. A number of properties incorporate gates with access to the lower ground floor via the lightwell; in some cases these steps have been removed or replaced.
No. 20 currently has a timber staircase in place to provide external access to the lower ground floor, which is in a deteriorating condition. We are therefore supportive of the replacement of a non-historic feature which is becoming increasingly unsafe to use. The use of a proposed galvanised steel staircase, where appropriately detailed, would be more in keeping with the style of lightwell staircases used within this historic terraced context and would improve the appearance and setting of the listed building as well as the wider group value of the listed terrace.
Based on the proposed sections, it appears that the replacement staircase would be largely freestanding – the landing point, as shown in the existing sections, appears to intersect with the west elevation, whereas the proposed sections show that whilst the replacement staircase would sit more snugly against the elevation, this fixing point would be removed. Based on the apparent free-standing nature of the staircase as proposed, we consider this to be a welcome, light-touch approach but encourage that further details relating to any fixing points across the west elevation are clarified.