Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of OBELISK
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Bath and North East Somerset (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
ST 75184 64797


This list entry was subject to a Minor Enhancement on 14/04/2020







Obelisk. 1734. By Mr Borlase, mason, at the expense of Richard 'Beau' Nash.

DESCRIPTION: Limestone ashlar plinth with moulded base and cornice, diminishing shaft. The whole stands 30' high.

HISTORY: The plinth has a relief coat of arms, date of erection and Latin inscription about its erection by 'Beau' Nash to commemorate the visit and successful cure for the Prince of Orange in 1734. This feature, which cost £8-2-7 1/2d, also acted as “no small Recommendation to the Building Material of the Hills of Bath for such sort of ornaments” (Wood). The culmination of improvements to Orange Grove begun with Council minutes of 28 December 1730: “Pallisades and Pillars between the Upper and Lower Walks to be taken down at the charge of this City, the ground sloped and the walks repaired and made handsome and fit for people to walk there.”

Following the end of the Second World War, the space around the obelisk on Orange Grove was redesigned as a small piece of civic landscaping to honour Bath's twinning with the Dutch city of Alkmaar, and named the ‘Alkmaar Garden’. The two cities had become ‘adopted sisters’ in March 1945, apparently with the approval of the exiled Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, and the ‘Alkmaar Adoption Appeal’ by the people of Bath saw 45,000 articles of clothing shipped to Alkmaar prior to its liberation from Nazi occupation. A highly unusual fundraising effort at this time, it was inspired by an Alkmaar evacuee, Elias Prins, who settled in Bath following his escape to Britain in 1940. Prins served as an ARP Warden during the bombing of the city in 1942 and remained in Bath after the war to raise his family.

Days after Alkmaar was liberated, Victory in Europe (VE) Day was declared a national holiday in Britain. It marked the end of nearly six years of war and the hardships and sacrifices that had brought. Millions of people marked the victory as communities came together in street parties, parades and thanksgiving services. The bond of friendship between the two cities was reaffirmed when in 1946 Alkmaar gave 5,000 tulip bulbs to be planted in the Alkmaar Garden. The cities became formally twinned later in the C20 and in 2017 Alkmaar gave Bath a new gift of 5,000 tulip bulbs. Listing NGR: ST7518464797


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Books and journals
Fawcett, T, Inskip, M, The Making of Orange Grove, (1994), 24-50


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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