Camden & Larkhall history

Two examples below of our historical notes for properties.

Frankley Bldgs

Camden itself is named after Charles Pratt (First Earl of Camden, Recorder of Bath in 1759 and Lord Chancellor in 1766). The Palladian masterpiece of Camden Crescent (designed by John Eveleigh and built in 1787-8)  bears the coat of arms of the Lord Chancellor whilst the doorway keystones bear his crest, an elephant’s head. This unfinished asymmetrical crescent was originally planned as 32 houses.

Frankley Buildings first appears in the Bath Street Directories in 1852 (and appears on J.H Cotterell’s Plan of Bath issued in the same year), with the first occupier of No1 being a Mr William Smith (who moved from Laurel Cottage on Widcombe Hill and whose profession or trade is simply listed as ‘gentleman’). By 1854 a Mr William Newton had occupied the property (a mason and carpenter previously abiding at No35 Belvedere). Haddon’s ‘Portrait of Bath’ mistakenly dates the terrace to 1897 – a date likely taken from a keystone on houses opposite Frankley Buildings on Camden Road.

Beaufort Place

In 1812 Larkhall (larks corner) had very few inhabitants and the few buildings and land were sold in 6 lots by public auction on a 1000yr lease (the Hooper Estate had previously leased the land in 1792 to a consortium of trades who fell into financial difficulty and defaulted). The development and growth of Larkhall village took off between 1840 and 1860, centred on the Larkhall Inn (established in 1784 and previously the Manor House – its location on the old Gloucester Rd made it an important staging post for the mail coaches). In 1832, a mineral water spring was discovered in the village and Mr Blackwin built the Larkhall Spa in 1834 – it was in use up to 1930 when the spring finally dried up.
Beaufort Place first appears in the Bath Street Directories in 1850, although deeds suggest the land was purchased as early as 1825. The first occupier of No8 was a Mrs Patterson Major, who stayed only two years and was replaced by James Purnell. Previously a grocer and tea dealer from No8 Walcot Buildings, Mr Purnell listed his occupation as “fly proprietor”. Fly carriages were two horse hackney conveyances licensed for hire within 5 miles of the Guildhall (the first example of which appeared in Bath in 1830) and fly stands were erected at major intersections of the city centre.
Beaufort Place is named after the Dukes of Beaufort – a family with strong links to the city from the 16th century onwards (Henry Somerset, the second Duke of Beaufort, was a leading sponsor of the 1712 Bristol to Bath Avon navigation bill).

Beaufort Place is specifically mentioned in Michael Forsyth’s Pevsner Architectural Guide to Bath – “a Regency terrace of pretty painted artisans cottages”.

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