© Alan Bamforth LRPS
EMPIRE HOTEL, ORANGE GROVE
BATH, BATH AND NORTH EAST SOMERSET, SOMERSET
Alan Bamforth LRPS
11 October 2004
17 July 1989
Date of last amendment:
17 July 1989
The Images of England website consists of images of listed buildings based on the statutory list as it was in 2001 and does not incorporate subsequent amendments to the list. For the statutory list and information on the current listed status of individual buildings please go to The National Heritage List for England.
The following building shall be added to the list.
ST 7564 NW ORANGE GROVE
19/1850 Empire Hotel
Hotel. 1900-01 by Major C E Davis for hotelier Alfred Holland. Bath stone
ashlar, internal steel work, roofs of Bridgwater tiles and lead. Large L shaped
block with octagonal corner tower, in a muted Jacobean style. Six main storeys
with attics and double depth basement, the corner tower is seven storeys. Eight
bays to Orange Grove, nine bays to the east (river) front with further bay canted
on the corner. Tall ground floor with mullion and transom windows and decorative
cast iron canopy to main entrance. First floor has 3 light mullion and transom
windows and a four bay loggia across the centre with balustraded balconies.
Second floor has pedimented windows. Third and fourth floors plain windows, all 3
light mullion and transom. Heavy cornices divide each floor and there are strip
pilasters between each window. Sixth floor has a very varied roofline. Paired
gables to left with decorative plasterwork. Central bays have large shaped gable
with six single light windows separated by pilasters, and two more in the attic
floor above. Each face of the corner tower has a two light mullion and transom
window, upper floor with Baroque Columns supporting only block entablatures.
Parapet to tower. East front has another large shaped gable and a plain but
double sized gable. Single storey kitchen range in the angle of the L.City's
medieval Eastgate attached on north side. Interior: Basement contains much
structural steelwork by the Glengarnock Company. Rolled steel joists on cast iron
columns spanning the many difficult corners of the site. The extent of the steel-
work is not known. Boiler room with the two original heating boilers dated 1901.
The public rooms on the ground floor are very little altered except decoratively.
The Dining Room in a subdued Greek manner has two marbled Ionic columns; Greek
architraves and fire surrounds with overmantels. Entrance hall has two Corinthian
columns, a coffered ceiling and a French Renaissance type fire-place. Original
reception desk and revolving doors in store in the basement. Jacobean style
staircase with fine joinery and Rococo Plasterwork on the walls. Joinery and
plasterwork largely complete in Drawing Room and Bars. The staircase rises the
full height of the building. The first floor has grand suites and these retain
joinery and fireplaces, the original bathroom fittings are in store in the
basement. The bedroom floors above are much plainer but again almost unaltered.
The whole building shows a remarkable survival of the original design and planning
of a grand turn of the century hotel in which the purpose of almost every room is
still recognisable. The hotel had clearly never had an overhaul when requisi-
tioned by the Navy in 1939. It has a very strong group value with the surrounding
listed buildings, a number of which are also by Major Davis who was the Bath City
Architect and it is a powerful factor in almost all views of the city.