A Local Guide to Larkhall
Situated just north-east of Bath’s city centre, Larkhall is lined with quirky independent shops and dotted with lush green spaces. Cited by the Sunday Times as a ‘trendy urban village’ in 2015, it really is a charming residential district.
A Brief History of Larkhall
Up until 1742, the village virtually had no buildings whatsoever. Larkhall began to develop in the early 19th century as a means of housing the working population of the city of Bath. Prior to this, the area was largely agricultural.
Much of Larkhall’s growth centred on the Larkhall Inn, previously the Manor House, located on the old Gloucester Road. The inn was a popular meeting place for gentry who came to take the waters during the 19th century, and used its own tokens for money.
Larkhall’s Beaufort Place, named after the Dukes of Beaufort – a family with strong links to the city of Bath from the 16th century onwards – first appears in the Bath Street Directories during 1850, with the first occupier of No. 8 being Mrs Patterson Major.
The village is also home to many historical details of interest, such as the sun plaque at Upper East Hayes and the clock face at Beaufort House.
Today, Larkhall also houses the Larkhall Historical Society, a local group who meet monthly on the outskirts of the village each month to discuss historical events and actively participate in the researching of the area’s history, open to anyone who’d like to get involved.
Location of Larkhall
Larkhall is in the South West region of England, situated within the eastern fringes of the city of Bath. The village is within the Lambridge ward/electoral division, about 1.2 miles from Bath’s city centre, and is extremely popular with local residents due to the large number of well-respected schools within the area, as well as the abundance of quirky bookstores, indie food shops, and tranquil parks.
Sights to See
Famous for its roots in sports and leisure, Larkhall has a non-league football club affiliated to the Somerset County FA, Larkhall Athletic F.C., who can be found playing their home games at Larkhall’s Plain Ham ground.
There are also several parks in the area such as the Larkhall Recreation Ground, locally known as ‘the backfields’, which has stunning views of Little Solsbury Hill. Alice Park also offers a children’s playground, skatepark, cafe, tennis courts, and a community garden of fruit trees and vegetable patches.
Things to Do
The Rondo Theatre, established in 1989, sits in the former church hall of Larkhall’s St. Saviour’s Church, a building purchased in 1976 by Doreen and Wilf Williams who later founded The Rondo Trust for the Performing Arts. Today, the space has been converted into a 105-seat theatre, holding outreach activities, theatre workshops, writers groups, a youth theatre, and afternoon tea concerts.
Larkhall is overflowing with local shops, lots of which offer wonderful local food and produce. Centred around Larkhall Square, these include Goodies Deli, Larkhall Butchers, Larkhall Farm Shop, the Larkhall Deli Cafe, Ma Cuisine and the Thali Curry House. There is also the Beaufort Bookshop, Not Just Pets, Larkhall Hardware, Flowers of Bath, The Bath Flower School and the Leak gift shop, as well as three local pubs.
Each year, the district also hosts the Larkhall Festival, with a bounty of raffles, stalls, games, and food available for locals and visitors to enjoy. The festival is mainly held at the New Oriel Hall – a village hall which offers a range of classes and clubs, as well as a community library – but other venues such as the Rose & Crown, the Larkhall Inn pubs, Alice Park, and St Mark’s School also get involved.