© Mr John Chester
10-34 NEW KING STREET (south side)
BATH, BATH AND NORTH EAST SOMERSET, SOMERSET
Mr John Chester
26 September 2004
12 June 1950
Date of last amendment:
21 September 1999
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.
ST 7464 NE NEW KING STREET
656/17/10022 Nos. 18-19 and attached railings
Pair of houses in a terrace. 1764-1770. Bath limestone ashlar, some coursed rubble to the rear,
visible slate roofs, the internal slopes of No.19 are pantiled. Generous town houses with double mansard roofs, rebuilt and raised to No.19, and with entrance and staircase to the left. Three storeys, attic and basement, each 2 windows, all sashes. No.18 has two 12 pane dormers above plain sashes in painted moulded architraves, and with a floating cornice at first floor, single sash in splay at ground floor, and 12 pane to basement. No.19 has C20 lights in high mansard, above 12 pane sashes at each level, trimmed as to No.18. Each has a 6-panel door in moulded architrave with flat hood on consoles. Plat band above ground floor, slightly stepped up at centre, modillion cornice stopped at each end, blocking cornice and parapet, central lead downpipe, and with a straight masonry joint on either side. Coped party divisions, deep stacks to the right.
Simple wrought iron railings on stone curb, returned to the doors, enclose basement areas. Rear elevation of each house has two dormers above tripartite sashes, with straight drips above first floor. The tripartite sashes to No.19 have had their cills dropped to floor level on the ground and first floors.
Interior of No 18 not inspected. Interior of No 19- The entrance front faces north and has the staircase in the entrance hall, a small closet room to the right and a large south facing room across the back of the house at each level. The basement contains a rear kitchen with a Victorian cast iron range and stone flag floor. Behind this is the single storey workshop built in the garden by William Herschel where he conducted his experiments and made his lenses. The workshop contains Herschel's own treadle lathe. The staircase rises through the house with three turned balusters to each tread, Tuscan newel posts, mahogany hand rail, dado rail. The ground floor has a Dining Room in the closet room, dado rail, shutters and Herschel's own dining table, corner fireplace with plain surround. The rear room has dado rail, cornice and plain marble fire surround. The first floor closet is the Music Room, otherwise as Dining Room. The rear Drawing Room as the room below. Upper floors not seen, but they have been converted into flats.
History: The full terrace has a broad consistency of detail, but with variations to the elevations; building was in small sections as still clearly marked by the straight joints between contracts.
No.19 is a particularly well preserved small town house of its period and is additionally important as the home between 1777 and 1782 of William Herschel ( 1738-1822), a Hanoverian musician and astronomer who had come to Bath in 1766 as the resident organist of the Octagon Chapel in Milsom Street (qv); he later became Director of Music for Bath, giving many concerts in the Pump Room and the Assembly Rooms. In addition he was a talented astronomer and telescope builder and while residing in this house he discovered the planet Uranus in March 1781 (although he thought that it was a comet) using a 7' telescope he had designed and built himself in the attached workshop. He moved from Bath in 1782 after being appointed court astronomer by George III and continued a long and important career, including being the first president of the Astronomical Society. The house was lived in for an additional two years by his sister Caroline (1758-1848), also a talented astronomer who was to discover eight comets, who worked closely with him; and his brother Alexander, who designed and built the motions of the telescopes which were very advanced for their size and complexity. Alexander was to identify infra-red light in 1800.
References: Dictionary of National Biography. Information from Mrs Debbie James, Curator of the Herschel House Museum. Julian Orbach, Card Index of Bath Architects and Streets, Department of Environment and Property, Bath and North East Somerset Council.
The previous entry read:
1. NEW KING STREET
823 (South Side)
Nos 10 to 34 (consec)
ST 7464 NW 17/136
ST 7464 NE 18/136 12.6.5O.
3 storey, 2 or 3 windows grouped. Crowning cornice and mansard storey.
Some 1st floor windows with cornices. No 11 door with Doric order and entablature
and pediment. No 12 flat hood on consoles. Nos 13 and 14 cambered hoods.
Fenestration and hoods poor. No 14 fanlight, Nos 15 to 17 pediments.
No 17 broken pediment. No 15 1st floor Venetian window, No 18 and 19 flat
hoods on consoles. No 19 Sir William Hersehel lived 1781. No 20 and 21, 22,
23, 24, 25, 27, 28, 54 pediments. No 26 Doric columns and pediments,
Nos 29 to 33 cornices.