36A Belvedere, Lansdown, Bath
36A Belvedere, or Valley View House, forms one half of a pair of Grade II terraced dwellings, situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage site. The dwellings are originally mid-18th century but underwent significant remodelling works in the late 19th century, and it is suggested that it may have suffered some mid-20th century damage attributed to the Blitz bombings. Consequently the random stone frontage that faces onto Lansdown Road is distinctly late 19th century in character and articulation in sharp contrast with the more typical terraced typology to the north and south. However, it remains of historic and architectural interest due to its finely detailed façade overlooking both Lansdown Road and the entrance to the Grade II Hedgemead Park as well as its narrative interest as an unusual indicator of the later 19th century redevelopment of the area.
The proposed repair works to stabilise subsidence damage are positive in principle.
The D&A Statement refers to the proposed use of epoxy resin on the “External structural cracks – Modern materials”. However, it is uncertain as to what area of the building this refers to and the nature of the repairs proposed – there are both examples of cracks that follow the bedding joints, as well as cracks that bisect the stone blocks of the elevational façade. Considering the proposed use of a “lime mortar to match surrounding in colour, style and strength” on “External structural cracks – Historic fabric”, it is unclear as to why a distinction is being made and whether the use of epoxy resin is considered a necessary intervention if lime mortar is considered to be of adequate strength. The use of a lime-based solution would be more compatible with the permeable, material qualities of the natural stone and allow for a greater flexibility of future repairs.
A similar distinction would also be useful for the proposed repairs to the internal finishings and plasterwork.
Should epoxy resin be considered acceptable for use, it would be helpful to provide further details regarding how it would be finished to match the extant material treatment of the building.
In reference to the proposal to “jet wash general surfaces; hardstandings and the like”, we wish to clarify that this does not extend to the elevations of the building. We refer to BPT’s general advice on cleaning Bath stone and the use of less abrasive cleaning methods to ensure stone is not over-cleaned, and avoiding the loss of historic patina: https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/sites/default/files/2020-01/clean_bath_stone_0.pdf