Tour Locations | Walk the Highlights of Georgian & Victorian Bath
LOCATION 3 | Walk the Highlights of Georgian & Victorian Bath
Parade Gardens & Empire Hotel
Let’s stop a moment and look down the Parade Gardens.
These gardens were known as Pleasure Gardens and were places of entertainment, where you could listen to music playing from the bandstand and meet other visitors and residents. Maybe you would like to come back later and visit yourself?
Please turn around and with your back to the gardens, take a look at the interesting building in front of you and just across the road.
This is the Empire Hotel and was completed in 1901, at the very end of Queen Victoria’s reign. It was Bath's premier hotel until 1939, when, with the outbreak of WWII, it was commandeered by the Government and given to the Royal Navy. The Royal Navy stayed here and elsewhere in Bath for over 60 years. The Empire is now restaurants and high quality apartments.
When you're ready, continue walking, following the river.
By looking up to the top of the Empire, notice the strange roof-line! The original building was designed by Major Davis, the city surveyor and the man who project managed the excavation of the ancient Roman Baths in the 1880s. Notice the pointed and also the rounded Dutch gables and finally the crenelated tower, said to represent the aspiration of a person's desire to improve and move up in the world. Remember the phase that was written in less politically correct times: ‘an Englishman’s home is his castle’ - and this design perhaps shows that!