A Local Guide to Widcombe
A small district of Bath, Widcombe sits directly to the south-east of the historical city’s centre, just across from the River Avon.
Local History of Widcombe
Widcombe was originally part of the hundred of Bath Forum, one of the 40 historical hundreds in the county of Somerset.
During 1877, Halfpenny Bridge – a pedestrian toll bridge that stretched over the River Avon from Bath Spa railway station to Widcombe – suffered a devastating collapse, with the unfortunate loss of 10 lives amongst a large crowd who were travelling to the Bath and West Agricultural show.
The electoral ward of Widcombe was merged with Lyncombe during the boundary change elections of 2019 – the two areas have historically been connected.
Location of Widcombe
Widcombe is situated at the point where the Kennet and Avon Canal meets the River Avon, to the south-east of the city centre. Bath Locks, a series of locks which sit at the south of Pulteney Bridge, travel up through the district. A side pond and pumping station is located towards the bottommost lock, which serves to pump up replacement water each time the lock is opened.
When the canal was restored during May 1976, two of the locks were combined, and are now numbered 8/9 in the Bath Locks. A road bridge that houses the A36, built at a time when the canal was in disrepair, runs over the original side of the lower lock. The new chamber constructed during this time is over 19ft, making it Britain’s second deepest canal lock. Above the top lock, the canal runs through Sydney Gardens and Bath’s famous two tunnels, passing underneath two cast iron footbridges that were constructed during 1800.
Things to Do
With plenty of residential spaces, Widcombe is overflowing with local food spots to try. Mús is perfect for grabbing a coffee and a pastry in the morning, while Ring O Bells offers a mouth-watering variety of high quality dishes to sample on a Friday night. The White Hart Inn is also a great spot to enjoy a pint with some locally sourced seasonal plates, with the option to enjoy alfresco dining in the Mediterranean-inspired gardens during summertime.
Widcombe is also home to The Natural Theatre Company, who take street theatre to new heights with live interactive performances all over the world. With over 45 years of theatre under their belt, the company often puts on plays at Bath’s own Royal Crescent.
Sights to See
Widcombe is well-known for its stunning historical architecture. The commercial street Widcombe Parade, located near the Halfpenny Bridge, is home to several of these sites, covered with a beautiful mix of Georgian and Victorian buildings dating as far back as 1750. The street has been the subject of several changes throughout the years, with various constructions carried out to improve the movement of traffic within the district.
There is also St. Matthew’s Church, which dates as far back as 1846 and holds one of the tallest spires in the entire city. It sits at the east end of Widcombe Parade. Church Street’s Widcombe Manor House, constructed during 1656, is a Grade I listed manor house that sits adjacent to St Thomas à Beckett Church.
Grade II listed building Crowe Hall is a Georgian House, with gardens that are listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens of Special Historic in England. Built during 1780 for Brigadier Crowe, the building has seen many owners and adaptations throughout its time, the most serious of these due to an unfortunate fire in 1926 that destroyed much of its fabric.
Widcombe Crescent, constructed during 1808 by Thomas Baldwin, is a stunning terrace of 14 Georgian houses that is also designated as a Grade I listed building.
Think Widcombe might be the place for you? We have an expert team of professional lettings and estate agents on-hand to help you find your dream home in Bath, with an in-depth knowledge of the local market and years of experience. Whether you’re looking to buy, rent, or sell, feel free to get in touch today to hear more about how we can guide you through every step of the way.