No. 1 Royal Crescent was the first house to be built on Royal Crescent, which is Bath’s most prestigious street. The house has been restored to show how it would have appeared in the 18th century.
It was initially called The Crescent when it was built in 1774, however, it was renamed the Royal Crescent towards the end of the 18th century when Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany stayed here. He initially moved into number one, which is now a museum and later moved to number 16, which is now the site of the Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa.
Along with The Circus, which is connected to the Royal Crescent by Brock Street, it is one of Bath’s most sought-after addresses. In addition to Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, prominent residents have included anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce as well as Isaac Pitman, who developed Pitman shorthand.
A number of films have been filmed at the Royal Crescent including The Wrong Box (1965), Catch Us If You Can (1965) and The Duchess (2008). It has also been used in the 2007 television adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion.
If you’re not staying at the Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, the best way to see the Royal Crescent is to visit No. 1 Royal Crescent. This is the most easterly of the townhouses on the Royal Crescent and has been restored to show how it would have appeared in the 18th century.
What to see at No. 1 Royal Crescent
The house has been restored and furnished with 18th-century furnishings to show what it would have been like during Bath’s Georgian-era heyday.
Rooms open to visitors include the dining room, gentleman’s retreat, the lady’s bedroom, the gentleman’s bedroom and the withdrawing room as well as servants’ quarters including the servants’ hall, housekeeper’s room and the kitchen and scullery.
Visiting No. 1 Royal Crescent
Royal Crescent is across the road from Victoria Park, just a short walk northeast of the city centre. From here, it is around a five-minute walk from the northern edge of the city centre and a 20-minute walk from Bath Spa railway station.
Admission is rather steep, considering that it is a relatively small house, although it is a couple of pounds cheaper if you visit outside the peak season (July, August or December). Admission is half price if you have a valid National Art Pass.
Allow between one and two hours to visit the museum.