American Museum In Britain, Claverton Manor, Claverton Hill, Claverton
The American Museum is a Grade I late Georgian country house, previously Claverton Manor, that has been a museum of American arts and culture since 1961. It forms a central part of the Claverton conservation area, whilst additionally contributing to the indicative landscape setting of the Bath World Heritage site, Green Belt, and Cotswolds AONB. This application particularly concerns the roof of the Carriage Court, which served as a concealed service access to the north of the principal building. Whilst more indicative of the historic social function of Claverton Manor and of a low comparative profile, features such as the projecting porch and stone balustrade present a striking, well-balanced elevation looking out across the east lawn.
The Trust notes the existing poor condition of the roof and the consequent damage to the rest of the building, rendering it unsuitable for public access. We would therefore emphasise the importance of the proposed remedial roof works in order to stabilise the building as soon as possible and prevent further, irreversible harm to historic fabric.
We would, however, express our surprise at the current poor condition of the building, which ongoing “ac hoc” repairs have failed to address. We would emphasise our recommendations that listed buildings require regular, thorough maintenance and monitoring, as opposed to piecemeal repairs, in order to prevent smaller issues becoming serious problems in future, often resulting in the irreversible and detrimental loss of historic fabric.
We are supportive of the proposed remedial works to existing gutters and increased numbers of rainwater outlets to improve water drainage. However, we would recommend that existing and proposed elevations of the Carriage Court should be provided if new rainwater pipes are to be added alongside those existing.