Cleveland Place West, Number 4, Bath 848

Bath, England

Brief Description

No. 4 Cleveland Place West has an eccentric grass-terraced garden originally created between 1870 and 1910. It was laid out by William Sweetland, behind his organ factory and running down to the River Avon.

Detailed Description

The site is divided into two parts. The first area is in private ownership, and is a well-cared for garden. The second area was sold to Bath City Council in the early 1960s, and is leased to Bath Canoe Club. This area is rough grass and bushes.

The garden of No. 4 Cleveland Place West is several feet below the level of the road to the north, and is entered from the south via Cleveland Cottages. It consists mainly of a fine lawn, rising over two low terraces. A mature cedar and a Wellingtonia grow near the north wall. On the east side it runs down to the River Avon.

Features
  • Sarcophagus
  • Description: The stone coffin is presumably the one found on the site of the house in 1839.
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  • Column
  • Description: There is one half and one whole Ionic column from the interior of Wood's and St. Mary's Chapel, Queen Square, which was demolished in 1875.
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  • Urn
  • Description: This is an ornamental feature consisting of a late-18th century stone urn on a Victorian pedestal. It has with low swept 'wings' extending diagonally from each corner of the central pedestal and culminating in small pedestals crowned with what may be the lids of flambe stone urns, now mostly broken. One intact 'lid' is now kept behind the house near the stone coffin.
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  • Fountain
  • Description: Two-tier stone fountain in working order. Surounded by a pool.
  • Pool
  • Description: The pool surrounds the fountain, and is edged with 'grotto' rock, with small stone blocks with shell decoration at intervals.
History

Detailed History

Cleveland Place and Cleveland Bridge, originally a toll bridge, were developed from the 1820s on land belonging to the Marquis of Cleveland to the designs of H.E. Goodridge, a noted local architect.

The plot of land on which No. 4 Cleveland Place West and a small factory for making church organs were later built was conveyed to Messrs Goodridge, Lester and Goodrildge on 26th August, 1830. For some reason, work did not progress beyond house number 5. Some excavations were carried out on the site, however, as a stone coffin and some urns were found in 1839. This is assumed to be the stone coffin now in the garden.

The house and organ factory were eventually built around 1870 for William Sweetland, a local organ maker. Over the next 40 years he laid out an interesting and unusually personal garden, with several stone ornaments. These include one whole and one half column from a demolished chapel, and an unusual feature consisting of a late-18th century urn on a Victorian base. The artefact is embellished with scratch carvings of organ pipes and other related items, and was clearly made specifically for William Sweetland.

The 1886 OS map shows something placed in the semi-circle formed by the grass terraces. This feature no longer exists. The urn and its surround stand on top of the terrace. The pool and fountain are not shown on the map either, but otherwise the garden remains substantially the same. The boundary on the side facing the organ factory is now quite close to the back of the house, however. A garage has been built at the back of the house where the garden can be approached from Cleveland Cottages.

References

Contributors

  • H.J. Root

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  • Avon Gardens Trust