The Circus

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Sights/Attractions

Alongside the iconic Royal Crescent, Bath also features another impressively rounded landmark, The Circus. Originally known as The King’s Circus, this remarkable sight consists of three curved segments of Grade-I townhouses, arranged in a circular shape. The striking attraction was designed by John Wood the Elder, an architect also responsible for the nearby Queen Square. Unfortunately John Wood the Elder didn’t live to see his plans turned into reality, as he died three months before construction of The Circus began in 1754. His son, John Wood the Younger, completed the build in 1768. Wood was always fascinated by prehistoric stone circles, taking the Roman Colosseum as inspiration for his design (although creating The Circus to face inwardly, as opposed to the Colosseum’s design to be seen from the outside). Look closely at the detail on the stonework and you’ll see many emblems, such as serpents, acorns, nautical and masonic symbols. It’s thought that the acorns are tributes to the druids, creators of the stone circles that Wood admired so much.