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With more than usual eagerness did Catherine hasten to the Pumproom the next day, secure within

herself of seeing Mr. Tilney there before the morning were over, and ready to meet him with a smile; – but no smile was demanded – Mr. Tilney did not appear. Every creature in Bath, except himself, was to be seen in the room at different periods of the fashionable hours; crowds of people were every moment passing in and out, up the steps and down; people whom nobody cared about, and nobody wanted to see; and he only was absent. “What a delightful place Bath is,” said Mrs. Allen as they sat down near the great clock, after parading the room till they were tired; “and how pleasant it would be if we had any acquaintance here.” Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey Chapter IV
Gentle readers, before you continue please be aware that this post features a series of vignettes and memories from people who wrote their recollections about the historic Pump Room in Bath, so prominently mentioned in Northanger Abbey during Catherine Morland’s visits there with her benefactors, the Allens. In honor of Austenprose’s coverage of Northanger Abbey for the month of October, I have gathered observations about the Pump Room that were placed online from periodicals and journals of Jane Austen’s time. Please enjoy the reviews of Jane’s contemporaries and predecessors: In 1678 a single woman named Celia Fiennes journeyed to Bath and wrote in her journal:

Promenade in the Pump Room, Isabella Thorpe and Catherine Morland

its very hot and tastes like the water that boyles eggs. these have all gallery’s round and the pump is in one of these galleryes at the Kings bath which the Company drinks of. the Queen’s bath is bigger than the other three but not a neare so big as the King’s. John Wood.All the baths has the same attendance. fashion and social arbiter – contributed to this up and coming city’s popularity with the . Her journal was not published until 1688. Bath’s hot mineral springs have pumped a quarter of a million gallons of spring water a day at a steady temperature of 49°c. and the King’s bath much hotter. Thomas Harrison built the Bath Assembly House. was a grand-daughter of Lord Saye and Sele. Rowlandson. post master. Three men – Ralph Allen. which do run into each other and is only parted by a wall and at one place a great arch where they run into each other. but the nearer the pumpe you drinke it the hotter and less offencive and more spiriteous. It was not unusual for single ladies to travel about the country during the 1600s.000 to 38. 1798 Since Roman times. The Pump Room.000. for which the public paid fees to dance and gamble. architect. and Beau Nash. In 1708. (Celia Fiennes (1662-1741). has such a smell. Bath’s population exploded from 2. the Queen’s bath is a degree hotter than the Cross bath. becoming the eighth largest city in England by 1801. During mid-18th to early 19th century.) The Comforts of Bath.

and Hot Bath street were erected. Union street.leisure classes. forty-six feet wide. Ralph Allen contributed much of his personal fortune to Bath’s rebuilding. It was enlarged in 1751. exerting his influence as a dandy. and thirty-four feet high was constructed in 1796.000 upon their estates and other securities for the purpose of improving the city by the erection of new streets and widening of others. “It was in digging for the foundation of this building that the valuable and interesting remains of the Roman temple of Minerva were discovered. Developer John Wood followed the Palladian concept of the architectural ideal. Even so. beautiful honey-coloured Bath stone. quickly became too small for the increasing numbers of visitors. So far did the new buildings surpass those of the old town in architectural beauty that steps were taken in 1789 for modernizing and improving it. An entirely new room that was eighty-five feet long. and an Act of Parliament was obtained empowering the Corporation to raise the Sum of 80. and buildings out of softly-hued. and becoming a leader of fashion. the renovations were inadequate. constructing magnificent squares. erected in 1706. Cheap street widened and other improvements effected. Bath street. It was under the powers of this Act that the present pump room. parades. and a new frontage was constructed in 1791.” The Gentleman’s Magazine Statue of Beau Nash in the Pump Room . a new portico was added in 1786. and Beau Nash organized Bath’s social life and balls. bringing in musicians from London. The original Pump Room.

” (The gallery in question. and drank the waters from eight or nine in the morning until three in the afternoon. it draws visitor and inhabitant to one general place of morning rendezvous.Visitors promenaded up and down the great room. the heat and flavour of such a crowd.” Bath Baroque In 1811 a Canadian visitor visited Bath and described the Pump Room in his journal: .” The British Magazine “In the Pump Room itself. Lydia. whilst the inspiring melody of the Orchestra spreads a general glow of happiness around. reached by a ladder. in Smollett’s novel Humphrey Clinker. was semi-circular and contained five musicians led by a trumpeter). gave one the headache and vertigo&. an orchestra played while visitors drank the obligatory quantity of the water. The main spring that feeds the fountain “is in the centre of the King’s Bath where it is retained in a large leaden cistern at the bottom from which pipes conduct the water used for drinking the principal of which conveys it to the fountain of the pump room and most certainly an uninformed spectator would suppose that the identical liquid was drunk in which the people were bathing. and the hum and buzz of their conversation. The Bath Herald in 1799 was rather more enthusiastic: “The Pump Room Band is one of the oldest and best establishments of this place. describes the experience: “The noise of the music playing in the gallery.

I had a glass. At the end of each tune they clap their hands and kick up or not for what they don’t know.The gentlemen dressed in breeches stockings and cocked hats. The company at the same time walking up and down in crowds. At one end of the room is an orchestra. By William Connor Sydney Pump Room with Chandelier and Music Gallery The baths to which the city chiefly owes its celebrity and wealth are five in number: the King’s bath . – The Early Days of the Nineteenth Century in England. having three circles of gold cord round them with two great tassels of gold upon the left side. What is called a reticule. where a woman stands and distributes old King Bladud’s waters to old and young. sick and ill. the Cross bath . On one side is the pump.the Queen’s bath .the Hot bath. not minding the music. 1800-1820 1800-1820. The others are the exclusive . which contains their pocket-handkerchief and work. the last of which is the property of Earl Manvers. is hanging by a gold chain to the arm.and the Kingston bath. where bands of music are continually playing. it is very hot and tastes very mineral. and is fringed with gold. but buzzing like merchants on ‘change. An old duchess of eighty and a child of four were both drinking the waters while I was there. I went to the Pump Room. which is very large and grand. the ladies in the most superb manner – pelisses laced with gold cords and Hussars’ hats.

Pump Room. Commercial. Political. with All the Railways Accurately Laid Down … By Benjamin Clarke Palmer. who retain the management of them and from them and the profits of the Pump room obtain an income of about 1.The Hot bath derives its name from the superior heat of its waters.property of the corporation. Illustrated by a Full Set of County Maps. the King’s Public and Private Baths. 1804 One spring supplies the fountain in the Grand Pump Room.500 a year. The revenue from the Pump room is derived from subscriptions for drinking the waters. The baths are of course provided with all the appliances which luxury or sensitiveness can desire . Ecclesiastical. which average about 117 of Fahrenheit. the large tepid swimming bath. and the New Royal Private Baths . and Historical Showing the Distances of Each Place from London and Derby-gentlemen’s Seats-populations … &c. The British Gazetteer. The Pump room is an elegant and spacious hall built in 1797 for a promenade for the company and for drinking the waters it is 85 feet long 48 wide and 34 high the ceiling being supported by elegant Ionic pillars having at the cast end a statue of the celebrated Beau Nash who first officiated as master of the ceremonies.

The Climates and Baths of Great Britain Being the Report of a Committee of the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society of London By Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society of London. William Ewart. A continual flow of the mineral water coming straight from the spring is supplied by a fountain in the Grand Pump Room. and the baths of the Mineral Water Hospital. At present the amount usually drunk is from four ounces to half a pint twice a day. William Murrell Entrance to the Pump Room . J. Mitchel Bruce.adjoining the Pump Room Hotel. Formerly the internal treatment was much in vogue and large quantities of the hot water were ordered or taken without orders. Robert Barnes.

nor were groups of well-dressed females annoyed in their perambulations by the throwing of squibs or the firing of guns‘. who arrived in the city on the same day. and lavishly equipped. and a second house at 103 Sydney Place was reserved for her entourage. Queen Charlotte stayed in a house in Sydney Place. not the least riot or confusion appeared. ‘tho the streets were crowded to an excess. after describing the decorations.” Shortly after her arrival. Bath welcomed the royal party enthusiastically and a contemporary. and for the Duke of Clarence. Queen Charlotte in Bath. the seventy-three year-old Queen returned to Bath for nearly a month. “A house was taken for her at 93 Sydney Place. After the funeral. noted that.A year before her death in 1818. The House Where Queen Charlotte Stayed . the Queen’s granddaugher died in childbirth.

1783-98–Cross Bath rebuilt and then enlarged. modesty and decency have not always been inherent in Bath’s “spa culture.” Historic Houses in Bath.” John Wood the Elder writes at this time: “The Baths were like so many Bear Gardens. Beau Nash and Ralph Allen–collaborated. and Their Associations By Robert Edward Myhill Peach. 1788–New Private baths (now demolished) built between King’s Bath and Stall Street. Taking warm mineral waters from the King Bath Timeline (1714-1820) 1738–Start of the construction of The Royal Mineral Water Hospital reflected a new period of faith in the healing properties of the waters. and modesty was entirely shut out of them. She daily passed in a sedan chair to the Pump Room and graciously as well as gracefully acknowledged the obeisances of those who assembled to behold her. people of both sexes bathing by day and night naked.“Her Majesty occupied a large house in Sydney Place. It is also notable as the only building on which the three men most responsible for the construction of Georgian Bath–John Wood the Elder. While the beneficial and healing properties of the water have always been acknowledged. .” 1777–Hot Bath rebuilt to the design of John Wood the Younger.

Jane Austen Centre King’s Spring. 1798–The publication of “The Comforts of Bath. reflects the infamous lifestyle of elements of Georgian society. Jane Austen Sequels May in Regency Bath. While excavating the foundations for the new Great Pump Room. many of the first finds relating to the Roman Temple were made. The Pump Rooms and the baths were the center of much revelry throughout this period when Bath became known as the “premier resort of frivolity and Fashion – Bath: A World Heritage Site 2007 Persuasion actors filing into the Pump Room. Bath Daily Photo     Beethoven Minuet in G played in the Pump Room. Bath by Jools Scott The Pump Room. Bath .1790s–Great Pump Room built.” a satirical view of life in Bath.

Regency style. Regency Life. jane austen | Tagged King's Spring. Regency Bath | 12 Comments .Google Map: Pump Room (blue Circle) and Bath Abbey (Red Rectangle) Posted in Bath. Pump Room. Regency World.

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