The Pig & Fiddle, 2 Saracen Street, City Centre

Installation of painted ghost sign to rendered north elevation gable end (Retrospective).
Our Response

The Pig & Fiddle is formed from a pair of Grade II Victorian shops within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage site. It occupies the highly visible corner plot between Saracen Street and Broad Street, and is adjacent to the Grade II* King Edward’s School. It contributes to the historic setting of significant Grade II properties including The Saracen’s Head and the York House Hotel, as well as a high volume of Grade II terraces along Broad Street.

Therefore, the Trust welcomes efforts to enhance this corner, and repair and redecorate the existing historic wall. However, we remain disappointed in the retrospective nature of this application, with works having gone ahead without listed building consent or specialist conservation advice.

We support the removal of the false ‘weathering’ design that we feel to be inauthentic and misleading with regards to the sign’s age.

However, we regret that this painted advertisement continues to be referred to as a ghost sign; the new ‘ghost sign’ is in fact a large new advertisement, as there is no historical proof of a previous ghost sign in place. Authentic ghost signs are found throughout the city, faded, hardly legible, and telling a story of past activities within Bath. Authenticity is a vital part of the conservation of the World Heritage Site. Therefore, the installation of this type of ‘ghost sign’ would not be an authentic ghost sign.

We therefore request that this sign is described honestly as a modern contribution; previous comments to the scheme requested that the bottom panel reading ‘Est. 1978’ be included within the proposed design to ensure an authenticity of the presented age of the sign.

We continue to be aware that approval could lead to other applications for similar inauthentic ghost signs or large adverts elsewhere which will individually and collectively compromise the authenticity of the historic environment.

Application Number: 19/04605/LBA
Application Date: 22/10/2019
Closing Date: 21/11/2019
Address: The Pig & Fiddle, 2 Saracen Street, City Centre
Our Submission Status: Comment