This exquisite Grade I-listed five-bedroom townhouse occupies a highly sought-after position on the park side of St James’s Square, one of the most exceptional Grade I-listed Georgian squares in the country and the only complete residential square in the city of Bath. Set over five elegant storeys, internal accommodation extends to over 4,230 sq ft with superlative far-reaching western views across the High Common parkland and fine easterly views across the square. Private terraces and gardens extend to the rear of the house, which also enjoys access to beautifully maintained communal gardens, exclusively for the use of residents of St James’s Square.
Setting the Scene
St James’s Square was built by architect John Palmer between 1790 and 1794 and comprises 45 Grade I-listed buildings enclosing a central quadrangle of private gardens containing several remarkable trees. The square has been home to a number of notable names, including Charles Dickens who lived at No. 35 in 1840. St James’s Street leads directly from the square, with a delicatessen, newsagent, greengrocer and a florist and Bath city centre can be reached in less than 10 minutes on foot. Whilst St James’s Square is positioned directly behind the Royal Crescent, it offers a distinctly more private and quiet environment for residents.
Bath is the only city in Britain to achieve Unesco World Heritage status, which continues to be vehemently protected. Uniquely situated in a hollow in the hills, the surrounding Somerset countryside makes an incredible backdrop for the city. Founded in the 1st century AD by the Romans, who famously used the natural hot springs as a thermal spa, it became an important centre for the wool industry in the Middle Ages. In the 18th century, under George III, it developed into an elegant city with neoclassical Palladian buildings.
The Grand Tour
The handsome façade is made of classical Bath stone, which has been rusticated at ground level. A mansard roof sits atop four unfluted Corinthian pilasters with a pediment over the central window. Entrance to the building is via an impressive inner lobby and reception hall, where there are high ceilings replete with beautifully retained cornicing.
The interior has been masterfully executed throughout, combining a vibrant colour palette with typically impressive Georgian proportions. Two beautifully appointed reception rooms occupy the ground floor, one of which is currently set out as a study, with a pleasing easterly view across to the square. There is also a ground floor cloakroom. Expansive sash windows span one wall in the adjacent family room, inviting a soft light and framing verdant views, while a pair of French windows open directly onto the rear balcony and in turn, to the terrace and garden.
An exquisite living room is positioned on the first floor, where soaring ceiling heights create a palpable sense of volume, thick painted floorboards run underfoot and a large log-burner sits within an ornate central fireplace. Floor-to-ceiling sash windows span one wall, framing verdant westerly views onto the surrounding open parkland, and as with all windows on the upper floors, this room also has working shutters. A smaller family room is positioned on the easterly aspect.
The two upper storeys house the five beautifully appointed bedrooms and three bathrooms. The main bedroom is an inviting, peaceful space with a wall of hand-crafted cabinetry along one side and an adjoining en suite wet room finished in marble.
A guest bedroom with an en suite shower room is also located on this level, with three further bedrooms spanning the third floor, each characterised by period features such as a stone fireplaces and beautifully curved ceilings. The family bathroom has both a freestanding bath and a separate wet room.
The lower-ground level, converted with an exceptional attention to detail, houses a spacious kitchen and breakfast room, the utility space and an exquisite panelled dining room. A soft, dappled light streams into the kitchen through a pair of timber-framed sash windows. Flagstones span the kitchen floor and hand crafted joinery with marble worktops, neatly house the appliances. A large Aga sits at the heart of the room and an expansive pantry cupboard is positioned under the stairs. A second walk-through pantry leads through to an opulent dining room, where rich teal-coloured panelling is paired with exposed stone walls and parquet flooring; a wonderful room for entertaining. An additional WC is located at lower-ground level and there are also two tanked storage vaults at the front of the house and also a large cellar below.
The Great Outdoors
The walled rear garden has been beautifully designed, with raised stone terraces providing the perfect pavilion for summer lunches. Herbaceous beds provide colour throughout the seasons and a corten steel water feature is positioned centrally. There is also easy access to the High Common parkland to the rear of the house.
Residents of St James’s Square also have shared ownership and exclusive use of the central communal gated square gardens, host to occasional private events throughout the year and a meeting point for the immediate local community.
Out and About
The city harbours a strong community of independent retailers and eateries with Colonna and Smalls, Corkage, Landrace Bakery and the weekly Farmer’s Market often cited as local favourites. As well as the communal gardens of St James’s Square, Royal Victoria Park is a wonderful green expanse in the city centre; this is also home to the revered Botanical Gardens which make for a lovely weekend visit. The National Trust Skyline Walk offers up exceptional views through six miles of meadows and ancient woodlands.
Transport links are excellent, with Bath Spa train station in the heart of the city centre – around a 20-minute walk from St James’s Square – providing a direct line to London Paddington in under 1.5 hours. The M4 motorway lies to the north of the city and is quickly reachable by car.
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