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The Circus built by John Wood the elder

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  • Detail above the doorways in the Circus by John Wood the Elder
  • Plaque in memory of John Wood Jnr
  • Detail of roof top, the Royal Crescent , by John Wood Jnr

John Wood the elder and Jnr architects

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Quick Overview

John Wood the elder and John Wood Jnr
Great architects of Bath
The Circus By John Wood Jnr
The Royal Crescent by John Wood the elder


John Wood was born 1704 in Yorkshire. He was responsible for many of the best known streets and buildings of Bath, such as the North and South Parades, Queen Square, the Circus, Prior Park, and other houses. His son, John Wood the Younger (1728-82), designed the Royal Crescent and the Assembly Rooms, and completed the building work on the Circus after his fathers death in 1754.

John Wood the elder, the son of a humble Bath builder, had a strong, almost mystical vision for Bath's future. On December 10, 1728, the foundations were dug for his impressive Queen Square and he went on to develop the simple magnificence of what are now known as the North and South Parades.

With the city centre within easy walking distance, and yet another Assembly Room design by Wood in 1739, the development of the old Abbey Orchard catered for everything the visitor should need.

His final masterpiece was the Circus, once again built on Barton Fields outside the medieval city walls after being rejected by the corporation. He demonstrated how a row of town houses could be dignified, almost palatial, by the use of uniform facades and rhythmic proportions. His classical principles of square unerring symmetry were followed throughout the Georgian city.