Basement-Ground Floor Flat, 12 Marlborough Street, Lansdown, Bath
12 Marlborough Street is a Grade II late 18th century terraced townhouse, now converted to flats, situated in the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. It forms part of the ancillary setting of multiple Grade II individually listed buildings along Marlborough Street as well as the Grade I terraced St James’s Square. The terrace along Marlborough Street is varied and has been subject to later alterations, with a mix of single and tripartite sash windows across the upper floors as well as a mix of different door reveal treatments and porch types. 11-12 Marlborough Street share some architectural similarities with arched tripartite windows at first floor and the enclosure of their street-facing lightwells. The pedimented Doric doorcase is likely a later addition considering its non-symmetrical location. Due to its prominent, dual aspect position on the corner of Julian Road & Crescent Lane, the stepped rear elevation of 12 Marlborough Street is also clearly visible to ground floor level, unusually articulated in Bath stone ashlar rather than rubble stone which frequently characterises Bath’s backland setting.
In principle, we have some heritage concerns with the proposed enclosure of the rear lightwell with glazing and how this would impact the appearance and character of the listed building. Further details are required such as proposed fixing points to historic fabric. There are additional functional considerations as to how the proposed glazing would affect the lightwell, which appears to be prone to damp, such as ensuring natural ventilation can continue and avoiding the creation of areas of water ingress/leakage.
The Heritage Statement indicates that based on Historic England’s assessment of the building, “all windows on the rear elevation are late 19th and early 20th century additions.” Historic England indicates the presence of “C19 and C20 sashes” on the rear elevation but this description does not extend to the window reveals themselves, which, based on their regularity of position across the terrace rear, may be original. Lowering of the window sill would therefore result in loss of historic fabric which should be appropriately assessed as part of this application.
Whilst uncertain without the provision of measurements, the proposed French doors appear to be of an awkward and cramped appearance due to their narrow width to fit the established width of the window reveal. Should the principle of a door opening in this location be considered acceptable, we question whether a single door may sit more comfortably within this context. This may then allow for a style of door that better emulates a sash-style profile (eg. gunstock) and sustains the rear characteristics of the terrace.
Details are lacking regarding the metal railings to the rear, which appear to be traditional in design and appearance and may form part of the original delineation of the historic rear lightwell.