9 Royal Crescent, City Centre, Bath
9 Royal Crescent forms part of a Grade I late 18th century terraced elliptical crescent by John Wood the Younger, situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site, overlooking the Grade I listed Victoria Park. The Royal Crescent is one of Bath’s most significant surviving examples of monumental grand design, intended as a key visual landmark within the city, and Georgian innovation in town planning, fundamental aspects of the OUV of the World Heritage Site. It forms part of a significant ensemble of residential Georgian set pieces to the north of the city centre, including the Grade I Circus, the Grade I St James’s Square, the Grade I Queen Square, and the Grade I Lansdown Crescent. The grouped significance of the terrace is largely attributed to the sweeping principal façade overlooking Victoria Park and the Crescent Lawn as part of an intentional ‘parkland’ view. The terrace rear is largely obscured from public view by mews development along Crescent Lane and Julian Road, but the terrace’s less formal and architecturally varied rear elevations are observable along Marlborough Lane and Upper Church Street, reinforcing Bath’s distinctive backland character whilst sustaining the terrace’s additional evidential value as to how each townhouse was individually used and adapted to suit its occupier. In the case of 9 Royal Crescent, the upper floors of the rear elevation, more formally articulated in Bath stone ashlar as opposed to other examples of rubble stone to the rear, are visible from Upper Church Street and consequently the building contributes to the overall appearance and experience of this area of the conservation area.
It is proposed to replace the existing single pane timber sash windows across the rear elevation with multi-pane sashes. The age of the existing windows has not been indicated as part of this application, but it can be assumed that these are not original to the building due to their fenestration type. BPT is therefore supportive of the principle to reinstate the traditional sash form and profile with heritage gain to the special architectural interest of a listed building and the group value of a Grade I terrace.
However, we strongly maintain that appropriate details and drawings should be supplied as part of this application to fully assess the suitability of the proposed interventions, including existing and proposed elevations, and proposed sections and details to ensure that an acceptable glazing bar profile and thickness are selected.
Considering the reduced visibility across the rear of the townhouse, there could be an opportunity to consider thermal improvements such as secondary glazing or slimlite double glazing, as part of a whole home approach to energy efficiency. However, this would be highly dependent on an appropriate assessment of potential heritage impact and harm, the public benefit of whole home carbon savings and the appropriateness of the glazing profile and finish.