Old photos of Bath – floods, streets and Bath from the air

Our lovely client Mr B has been at it again, digging through a hoard of old photos of Bath and donating yet more gems to our growing collection. Each photo below has a brief description below but if any readers can add any info, please do let us know!

The majority of old photos shown have been previously displayed in the Bath Chronicle “Down Memory Lane” feature during the early 2000s.


Old photos

Floods in Southgate in December 1960 – said at the time to be the worst since 1882, the river reached 17ft above normal levels at the bottom of town. The Old Bridge, pictured here, was replaced by Churchill Bridge and the majority of buildings in the foreground have been replaced by various ages of development in the Southgate area.

Another of Southgate Street but this time after the storms in July 1968 – the building Bollom occupied still stands but the east side was demolished in its entirety.

The view from the south side of the river looking over Churchill Bridge in 1968 – the buildings on the right (Bladwells builders merchants, Tuckers animal feed warehouse and Bairds malthouse) were all demolished and replaced by Carpenter House.

An earlier view from a similar perspective – this time from 1960 with the Old Bridge in situ and a better view down the river to the west.

Sticking with the river theme but a photo from a much earlier date – 1877. This shows the old footbridge across to Widcombe which collapsed as visitors were travelling up to the Bath & West Show at Beechen Cliff. The ruined bridge was replaced by Halfpenny Bridge (named after the toll collected on the old bridge).

Shown in an earlier photo but this is a close up of Bairds malthouse on Broad Quay – taken in 1971. The right hand partially demolished building is Tuckers animal feed warehouse. The malthouse itself was demolished in 1974.

Still at the bottom of town and taken in 1969. Illustrating the demolition work to create the new traffic arch at the start of the Lower Bristol Rd leading up the the Wellsway.

old photos

One more shot of Southgate St – this time from the Francis Frith collection and taken in 1904.

old photos of Bath

Taken during the development of Southgate in the early 1970s, this is the view from Manvers St down Railway St to Stanley Rd. The Forum Cinema can be seen in the far left corner.

The Cliff View Hotel, at the southern end (east side) of Southgate St. Sold to the Co-op in 1954.

old photos

Moving northward into the city centre, this 1890s photo of Rosewell House in Kingsmead Square perfectly captures the baroque beauty of this iconic Bath building.

Looking from Barton St past the junction with Beauford Square down to the rear of Westgate St – the antiques shop has now been replaced by a Pizza Express.

Over on the east side of the city centre, this photo is from the junction of Argyle St, looking down the southern end of Grove St. Undated sadly but thought to be late 1960s/early 1970s?

Another Grove St photo but this time from the back of Walcot St, with the rear of Pulteney Bridge visible in the far right. The buildings in the foreground are now the blocks of flats at Northanger and Caxton Courts.

Pulteney Bridge – west end – another undated photo but, from some of the visible fashion choices, likely another late 1960s/early 1970s shot.

old photos

An action shot from Gay Street, with a distinct lack of traffic compared to now. We have not had a chance to date the photo based on the vehicles shown but maybe a reader can help?

An easy one to date as the bunting and decorations in this 1887 photo of the top end of Milsom St are to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.

Out to the west of the city, this is the old police station and courthouse in Lower Weston, opposite the Windsor Bridge. Demolished in 1971, this site now houses flats and a Tescos.

Taken after the Second World War, this view of the northern end of the city centre shows some of the damage sustained during the Bath Blitz.

Lastly, another wartime photo but this time taken on the grounds of the Pitman Press and shows a rehearsal in preparation for a mustard gas attack.

For more old photos of Bath, search our blog archive with the search term “old photos” or visit us on Pinterest