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Lost Pleasure Gardens & the Queen of Waters: A Walk in Bath

Sunday 26th June

  • Venue The Bookshop
  • Doors open 9.30am
  • Start time 10am
Image of Lost Pleasure Gardens & the Queen of Waters: A Walk

Andrew Swift and Kirsten Elliott are the founders of Akeman Press and the leading historians on the city of Bath. Kirsten has always had an interest in industrial archaeology, particularly canals, but her other interests are architecture, dance, literature and the social life of the Georgian period.

For over thirty years Kirsten has taken guided tours around Bath, as well as professionally researching the history of buildings. Her first research project, however, was to uncover the story of Bath’s Georgian pleasure gardens, a study she has continued for thirty five years.

Join us on a walk that will combine two brilliant books by Kirsten: No Swinging on Sundays and Queen of Waters. She will reveal the story of Bath’s lost pleasure gardens: from their early beginnings as a stroll in meadows, to the sophistication of Sydney Gardens. These gardens were central to Georgian Bath’s social life, with a programme of public breakfasts, concerts, and spectacular fireworks. 

But behind all the fun and frolics there was a dark side. Bankruptcy, libel, and scandal stalk the pages. In this talk, Kirsten takes us into this lost world – and explains why there was no swinging on Sundays.

She will also pay tribute to the Kennet & Avon Canal, which was the wonder of its age: a broad waterway built across southern England as a trade route between the country’s two greatest ports – London and Bristol. It changed the countryside through which it passed forever.

Meet us in the bookshop at 9:30am for tea and coffee before we head off at 10am.