Bath Preservation Trust (BPT) has appointed architects Thomas Ford & Partners and quantity surveyors Stenning & Co to lead the design work for the £3.3m Our Tower project.
The plan, which is funded by Historic England and The National Lottery Heritage Fund, will address urgent repair and conservation works required to the almost 200-year-old Grade I listed Beckford’s Tower, that stands above the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bath and is the only museum dedicated to William Beckford in the world.
In 1826 William Beckford commissioned a Garden between his Lansdown Crescent home and the retreat now known as Beckford’s Tower. The Tower was created to house his library, art collection and every day Beckford would ride up there from his home, accompanied by his pack of spaniels. This expanse became known as Beckford’s Ride, a mile of interlinked gardens.
Almost two centuries of exposure to weather, pollution and the challenges of climate change, now threaten the fabric of the building. There is an urgent need for repair and conservation, particularly to address water ingress at high level within the belvedere and lantern. Beckford’s Tower was added to the Historic England ‘Heritage at Risk’ Register in October 2019.
Our Tower will bring new parts of the tower into use, and upgrade services and visitor infrastructure. BPT will also use the project as an opportunity to develop the visitor experience, engage wider audiences and reconnect the Tower with its lost landscape, through new experiences, interpretation and access. A development grant awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund is also enabling Bath Preservation Trust to re-examine the way in which they share the story of William Beckford’s links to the transatlantic slave trade.
The project is scheduled to complete in winter 2023.