This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.


List Entry Summary

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


List entry Number: 1395306



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


District: Bath and North East Somerset

District Type: Unitary Authority


National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: II*

Date first listed: 11-Aug-1972

Date of most recent amendment: 15-Oct-2010

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 510717

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


SYDNEY PLACE 656-1/32/1653 (East side) Two Watchman's Boxes at Holburne Museum 11/08/72


A pair of watchmen's boxes flanking the entrance to the Holburne Museum (qv), dating from c.1840.

MATERIALS: The boxes are constructed from limestone ashlar.

PLAN: Approximately 1.5m square.

EXTERIOR: The boxes are approximately 3m high, and are identical. Each set on a plinth, with Tuscan pilasters set back slightly from each corner, flanking coved recesses to the three closed sides, a plain architrave to the front, a triglyph frieze, cornice and slightly pyramidal stone slab roof.

INTERIOR: The interior has a plain stone bench across the rear wall.

HISTORY: Sydney Gardens were laid out as commercial pleasure grounds between 1792 and 1794; the initial design was by the architect Thomas Baldwin, who, after he went bankrupt, was replaced by Charles Harcourt Masters in 1794. They were opened on 11 May 1795 as Sydney Gardens Vauxhall, and rapidly became a popular place of entertainment, hosting public breakfasts, promenades and galas. The main building was the Sydney Tavern (now the Holburne of Menstrie Museum), which stood at the western end of the central walk, and housed tea and card rooms, a ballroom, coffee room and a public house. In 1799, a section of the Kennet and Avon Canal was cut through the gardens, with the addition of decorative bridges and tunnels, which added to the picturesque appeal of the pleasure grounds. During the early C19, additional features and structures were introduced, adding variety and surprise in accordance with landscape design principles of the period. From c.1839, a section of the Great Western Railway was constructed, cutting through the gardens. Later in the C19, further ornamental structures were introduced, but these were largely cleared away after World War Two. In 1891, when the original 99-year lease of the Gardens expired, the entire site, including the Tavern, by then in use as a college, was sold, with the intention of replacing the former Tavern with a large hotel, and remodelling the grounds. The plan was abandoned and in 1908, the site was purchased by Bath City Council; the gardens were opened to the public as a municipal park in 1913, while the Tavern was remodelled by Sir Reginald Blomfield into the Holburne of Menstrie Museum. The gardens remain in use as a public park. The watchmen's boxes were constructed c.1840, when the Gardens underwent a period of enhancement and alteration, and have remained unaltered since this date.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION DECISION The two watchmen's boxes at the Holburne Museum are listed at Grade II*, for the following principal reasons: * The structures, which date from c.1840, demonstrate a high level of quality in their architectural style, materials and craftsmanship * They represent a rare survival of this building type * They complement the axial formality of the overall composition of the Holburne Museum, its flanking walls and the buildings they face in Great Pulteney Street and Sydney Place * Strong group value with the Holburne Museum (qv), formerly the Sydney Hotel or Tavern, which they were erected to serve, the other listed structures within Sydney Gardens, and the listed buildings in Sydney Place and Great Pulteney Street

Listing NGR: ST7563265220

Selected Sources

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details

National Grid Reference: ST 75632 65220


© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1395306 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 19-Oct-2017 at 05:26:28.

End of official listing