Major new development will safeguard city heritage

Work has started to transform a city centre site in Bath into a food and leisure complex including restaurants, hotel and a casino.  Along with the usual challenges of working in an inner city, historically sensitive environment and blending new structures with old, the design team and contractors have an added challenge.

The £19m+ development will be located on a site which is currently occupied by a local authority carpark, a health clinic, a pub and the former historic Lyric Theatre.  Site investigations carried out prior to the commencement of works revealed the presence of a clay pipe factory dating back to the 18th century. Most of the site is classified as a Scheduled Ancient Monument due to the potential for other archaeology dating back to Roman times.

Two five-and-a-half foot kilns were found, along with a series of other production rooms and dozens of intact tobacco pipes inscribed with workers initials.  It is believed the factory operated between around 1780 and 1860 – before cigarettes were invented.

Clarkebond, who are providing Ground Engineering, civil and structural services on the development and advising on the enabling works contract, have redesigned the foundations of the development to take account of the clay kilns which will be bridged over so that the historic remains can remain intact.

“We have worked closely with Bath and North East Somerset Architects and English Heritage and are pleased to have been able to find a solution that safeguards the heritage of Bath for future generations,” commented John Pavey, Executive Director, Clarkebond.“

Engineers: Clarkebond
Developer: Deeley Freed
Architect: AWW