The Royal Crescent has been one of Bath’s most popular landmarks for over 200 years, and it continues to be a standout attraction for visitors from all over the world. Sweeping to form a crescent of 30 Grade I Listed terrace houses, it’s one of the most impressive representations of authentic Georgian architecture anywhere in the UK.
The whole landmark was designed by architect John Wood the Younger and built between the years of 1767 and 1774. Wood gifted the façade with Ionic columns measuring 30 inches in diameter and reaching up to 47 feet in height, providing the building with the unequalled sense of grandeur that still impresses visitors to this day. The crescent earned the name Royal after a stay by Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, at the end of the 18th century.
Some changes have been made to the interiors of each separate home found within the Royal Crescent, but the façade itself retains almost exactly the same appearance that it had over 240 years ago. Scores of notable people have either lived or stayed in one of the townhouses since the building was opened, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for plaques as you view each building.
Of the 30 townhouses that originally made up the crescent, only 10 are still used as full-sized townhouses, with most of the rest split into flats. Number 1 is now the ‘No. 1 Royal Crescent’ Museum, and the luxurious five-star Royal Crescent Hotel is found at Number 16. If you’re looking for an indulgent spa day, the Royal Crescent Hotel is where you need to find yourself. Although, it can be quite expensive to stay here, so if you’d just like to visit the Royal Crescent but stay elsewhere, there are plenty of beautiful places to stay in Bath.
The Royal Crescent is still home to some of the richest people in the UK, and even comedy legend and leading Python John Cleese has purchased one of the residences for his own private retreat. Of course, you won’t be able to tour any of these residences yourself, but you’re sure to recognise the building from numerous TV shows and films, including Jane Austen’s Persuasion and The Duchess.