Guildhall & Pulteney Br.: Mini-tour

Full of independent traders & wonderful history, Bath's Guildhall Market is a stones throw from the iconic Pulteney Bridge over the River Avon.

Guildhall Market & Pulteney Bridge: Mini-Tour

Guildhall Market & Pulteney Bridge: Mini-Tour 1024 768
Bath’s Pulteney Bridge is unique!

It was constructed in the 1770’s by Scottish architect, Robert Adam, and influenced by similar bridges in Italy. Pulteney Bridge one of Bath’s iconic works of architecture and is allegedly is 1 of only 4 bridges in the world to have shops across its full span.

The weir below the bridge is reasonably modern (1970s) but there has been a weir here since the medieval period to help prevent flooding. The weir recently featured in a pivotal scene in the movie Les Miserables. The scene featured Russell Crowe’s character committing suicide here by jumping into the river.

Before the bridge, a passenger ferry offered a crossing service over the river. This allowed the city’s visitors to enjoy countryside pursuits in the Bathwick estate, owned by the Pulteney family. There was a plan to construct large a residential development here in the 1780s. Sadly, this decade saw revolution in France, leading to a Europe-wide recession, so the full plan was never realised. Nonetheless, Great Pulteney Street was completed to the design of Bath’s official City Architect, Thomas Baldwin. The street is the city’s longest boulevard, echoing similar streets in Paris. We’ll explore this and some of its famous residents on another mini-tour.

Our mini-tour starts at the Guildhall Market which is often over-looked by casual visitors to Bath. But it’s a must-see, not least for it’s history, but also for its interesting traders. At one time in it’s ancient past, the market was a most unpleasant place resembling little more than a messy abattoir! Today however, it’s an elegant and refined place to visit with interesting traders and lovely food & drink. Watch our mini-tour to find out more!

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