Newmarket Row, Grand Parade, City Centre
This application concerns a stretch of stone balustrade to the immediate south-east of Grade I Pulteney Bridge, along Grand Parade, within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. The stone balustrade constitutes part of the Grade II listing of Parade Gardens, a surviving example of an early 18th century pleasure garden first opened in 1709, but which currently reflects its later Victorian form and layout. The current balustrades were installed from the late 19th century up until the 1930s, and therefore are contemporary to the Victorian phase of the gardens. Damage was suffered to part of the balustrade following a car impact in December 2019.
In principle, the Trust is supportive of the proposed repairs to the balustrade to address the deleterious condition of the site at present. We acknowledge that as much stonework as possible has been salvaged from the river to be reused, where in an appropriate structural condition. As such, the addition of new balusters in a like-for-like design has been deemed necessary; this would reinstate the designed homogeneity of appearance along the boundary of Parade Gardens and retain the architectural and historic interest of a listed structure, and would preserve and enhance the appearance and character of the conservation by reinstating a damaged element of Bath’s historic public infrastructure.
We note that there has been no information supplied regarding possible ongoing harm to the structure following initial damage. We therefore encourage this application to be consented to allow works to begin as soon as possible, to prevent further, irreversible loss of historic fabric.