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Project information

No. 1 Royal Crescent: ‘The Whole Story’

The Bath Preservation Trust has the exciting opportunity to reunite No.1 Royal Crescent with its original service wing to create an extended historic house museum of late 18th Century Georgian Bath. This will double the number of dressed rooms, creating an immersive experience of life 200 years ago.

September 2011 - May 2013

Charity information: Bath Preservation Trust

Bath Preservation Trust logo
  • Need


    Until now, the house museum of No. 1 has only been able to tell half the story of Bath’s Georgian history to a limited audience. The life of a wealthy 18th Century family has been beautifully displayed within the dressed rooms of No. 1, yet the lives of the working classes that served them have been mostly ignored. Similarly, some local audiences of Bath that would like to visit may also have been excluded, whether by financial or physical means, or by an unawareness of the museum’s existence.


    ‘The Whole Story’ will demonstrate both the lives of a wealthy Georgian family and also those of their servants. This innovative museum will give visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the 18th Century in authentically dressed rooms with museum quality Georgian exhibits. The combined museum will also extend to audiences previously unaware of its benefits, including outreach programmes to the most deprived local areas, and new disabled access to make visits easier and more enjoyable for all.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Inject life and vigour into an already successful museum, creating a sustainable financial future.


    » Double the number of dressed rooms, including, among others, a new Kitchen and Scullery, House-Keeper’s Room, Gentleman’s Retreat and two bedchambers.
    » Interactive displays will create an experience of life 200 years ago, with objects to pick up and use, and other experiences to see, hear and smell.
    » There will be opportunities for visiting students to dress-up and role play the various parts of a Georgian Household.

    What success will look like

    Success will be an increase of up to 20% in the total number of visitors, from 50,000 to 60,000 people per annum.

    Aim 2

    Improve the experience and access to the museum for people with disabilities.


    » A new lift and wheelchair entrances will give disabled visitors access to parts of the museum that were previously unavailable to them.
    » PDAs will be made available for deaf visitors.
    » Interactive tablets will be made available for disabled visitors.
    » Guides will be trained in interpretation for disabled visitors.

    What success will look like

    Success will be an increase in visitors with a range of access needs: from 2,750 to 5,000 a year (82% increase).

    Aim 3

    Launch an extended education and training programme for schools, young people and adult learners.


    » The Servants’ Hall will have several functions, not just as a dressed room, but also as an educational suite and lecture theatre.
    » We will make a new website and provide online resources which will extend learning to remote audiences.
    » Outreach work will provide a new platform to new and diverse communities, including local wards representing the 15% most deprived areas.

    What success will look like

    Success will be an increase in the number of visiting school groups in the UK: from 650 to 1,000 (54% increase).

    Aim 4

    Provide new volunteer opportunities to support our extensive team and improve conservation skills.


    » Over 150 students of building trades and conservation management will gain first-hand experience of working on this important historic building.
    » Current and new volunteers will be given more roles and training to highlight the role of volunteer led conservation in the UK.
    » The development will be written up, video-documented and made accessible to all.

    What success will look like

    Success will be an increase in the number of volunteers in the museum, showing the success of our training and in the implementation of this support.

    Aim 5

    Re-house the BPT’s archives – a unique and unmatched source on Bath's architectural history.


    » Create a new database of BPT records from its three museums in one place, making them easily accessible to the public for the first time.
    » Fully catalogue, conserve and re-house the mostly paper-based archives.

    What success will look like

    Success will be a rise in the number of students and scholars using the BPT records for their work.

  • Impact


    We expect a large rise in the number of visitors to the museum, creating a sustainable income for the Trust. We will evaluate quantitative and qualitative data on the visitor experience plus education and participation targets. Our commitment to evaluation is seen in the project’s development, which included stakeholder engagement, focus groups, interpretation trials and visitor exit surveys. This provides the baseline to measure future evaluations against, and enables us to share learning.


    There is a risk that all funding for the renovation and extension works might not be in place before building works begin in the summer of 2011. We have dealt with this by preparing to underwrite the remaining costs of the project with the Trust’s own collateral and funds, to be replenished by the future surpluses on the new museum’s operation and fundraising activities.


    Donors to the project will receive regular email updates on the project detailing the on-going and forthcoming activities, and any necessary changes that have been made to the project plans. Major donors will benefit from individual contacts developed to suit them.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £5,022,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £2,100,000 Capital No.1a Purchase and building restoration to No.1a, including addition of disabled lift (secured).
      £1,210,132 Capital No.1 Restoration of rooms in No.1 (part-secured).
      £1,028,648 Activities Activites and interpretation costs (part-secured).
      £683,220 Other costs Additional project costs including staff, project management and fundraising (part-secured).

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Andrew Bronsword Charitable Foundation £2,100,000 Conditional
    Heritage Lottery Fund Round 2 Grant £1,396,900 Conditional
    Pledges and donations from individuals £222,835 Conditional
    Pledges and donations from trusts, foundations and organisations £498,000 Conditional
  • Background


    The city of Bath was inscribed on the World Heritage list by UNESCO in 1987 in recognition of the outstanding value of its Georgian architecture. Yet it is a city of massive disparity. Some of the UK’s most deprived 15% live within 2km of BPT’s headquarters at No.1. Though the city and its economy thrives on UK and overseas tourists who come to enjoy its cultural heritage, this has resulted in low levels of local participation. The project intends to benefit all of these audiences.


    The new extended and interactive museum will benefit in excess of 50,000 visitors and over 9,000 people in the community each year, with particular emphasis on currently under-represented groups, such as families, locals, people with disabilities and people from lower socio-economic backgrounds. The new museum will increase visitors by 20%, volunteers by 45% and reach many more through partnerships, outreach, and online resources.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Since 1934, the Bath Preservation Trust has safeguarded the historic city of Bath. It is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee. BPT receives no statutory funding and has proven it can sustain its work through the member support, donations, grants and income from its three museums. For this project, we have made considerable historical research and community consultation, and our understanding of the buildings and our visitors’ needs is better than it ever has been.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    David Beeton

    David Beeton, who was Secretary of the Nat. Trust and CEO of Historic Royal Palaces, is a Trustee of BPT and chairs our Museums and Edu. Committee.

    Caroline Kay

    BPT’s CEO, who was previously a consultant on cultural projects, including business planning of capital projects, and an HLF expert advisor.

    Nicola Watt

    The Project Coordinator, formerly the Project Director for the ss Great Britain Trust.

    Tom Boden

    An experienced Education and Audience Development Officer, Tom acts as Education and Activity coordinator for the project.