Bath Preservation Trust

Bath Preservation Trust

No. 1 Royal Crescent
Formation 7 December 1934
Type Registered Charity;
Company limited by guarantee[1]
Registration no. 203048[1]
Purpose Building Preservation Trust,
civic society,
and operator of museums.
Headquarters No. 1 Royal Crescent
1,470 (as of 2016)[2]
Chairman of the Trust
Thomas Sheppard[3]
Chief Executive
Caroline Kay[1]
Main organ
Subsidiaries The Beckford Tower Trust;
No. 1 Royal Crescent Ltd;[1]
Herschel House Trust[4]
Budget (2014)
Mission Through conservation, education and museums, we ensure the future success of our beautiful heritage city.
Website Bath Preservation Trust

The Bath Preservation Trust is a charity that is based in Bath, Somerset, England, which exists to safeguard for the public benefit the historic character and amenities of the city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its environs. The Trust is independent, funded by public membership, grants, donations and income from four museums that it operates in Bath: No. 1 Royal Crescent, the Museum of Bath Architecture, Beckford's Tower, and the Herschel Museum of Astronomy.

In addition to its campaigning and educational roles, the Trust comments on planning applications and takes part in planning policy consultations. It also provides limited financial assistance towards the repair or reinstatement of external architectural features (railings, window glazing bars, urns, gateposts, etc) that may be missing from listed buildings in Bath.


The Trust was founded in 1934 as a small pressure group with the specific aim of fundraising to buy properties in preparation to resist the Bath Bill, which was drafted in order to drive a new east to west road through the centre of Georgian Bath. As a result of this victory the status of the Trust was considerably enhanced and it was able to propose its own agenda for preserving the city. This included restoring the Prior Park Palladian Bridge and the Lansdown Greville Monument. Following damage to buildings in the city during the Baedeker raids on 25 and 26 April 1942 of World War II, the Trust worked with the War Damage Commission to assist people to restore their buildings. A further campaign against the "Sack of Bath" in 19671968 reduced the replacement of heritage buildings with modern structures.[5]

Sir John Betjeman was for over 20 years a trustee and was Vice-President from 1965 to 1971, at a time when Bath came under increasing pressure from modern developers and the proposal to build a major road through (in part, under) the city.[6] From 1972, Sir John became the nation's Poet Laureate.

The Trust is now an independent registered charity and continues to campaign to save listed buildings, of which Bath has some six and a half thousand, and ensure a sustainable future for Bath in the context of its status as a World Heritage Site. The Trust has over fourteen hundred members and a number of corporate sponsors. Its Patron is HRH Charles, Prince of Wales.

In July 2015 the Trust became the sole trustee of the Herschel House Trust, which owns the Herschel Museum of Astronomy.[4]


The Trust contributes financially to remedial works that enhance the city's Georgian character. It has rescued properties as diverse as Ralph Allen's quarry workers' cottages in Widcombe which once housed artisans who built some of Bath's great Georgian architectural set pieces, and the historically significant Beckford's Tower, now owned by the Bath Preservation Trust and run as a museum.

A significant part of the Trust's work is reviewing and responding to all planning and listed building consent applications submitted to Bath and North East Somerset Council.

It also owns and runs four independent museums; No. 1 Royal Crescent, the Museum of Bath Architecture,[7] Beckford's Tower[8] and the Herschel Museum of Astronomy.[9]

A small former cemetery, the Southcot Burial Ground in Widcombe, is owned by the Trust, and is conserved for its wildlife and heritage.[10]


The Trust's registered address and offices are at No. 1 Royal Crescent.[11] While most of the rooms in No. 1 operate as a museum, the Trust's offices occupy the upper two floors.[12]


The board of trustees is chaired by Thomas Sheppard[3] who succeeded Edward Bayntun-Coward[1] in February 2016.

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Bath Preservation Trust Annual Review 2014
  2. Bath Preservation Trust Annual Review 2016
  3. 1 2 3 BPT Trustees
  4. 1 2 Bath Preservation Trust newsletter no. 82 (winter 2015)
  5. "Preserving Bath". BRLSI. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  6. Peterson, William S. (2006). John Betjeman: A Bibliography. OUP. p. 440. ISBN 978-0198184034.
  7. "Trinity Presbyterian Church (Countess of Huntingdon's Chapel) and Chapel House, forecourt wall, gatepiers and gates". Images of England. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  8. "Beckford's Tower & Mortuary Chapel, Lansdown Cemetery". Images of England. Retrieved 2 October 2007.
  9. "Nos 18-19 New King Street". Images of England. Retrieved 30 September 2007.
  10. Bath Preservation Trust Heritage open day at Southcot Burial Ground]
  11. "No 1 Royal Crescent". Images of England. Retrieved 14 November 2006.
  12. "Annual Review 2013" (PDF). Bath Preservation Trust Limited. Retrieved 24 November 2015.

External links

Coordinates: 51°23′11″N 2°22′01″W / 51.3865°N 2.367°W / 51.3865; -2.367

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