John Wood, the most successful town planner of English eighteenth-century architects, was ferociously eccentric.
In this recording of a talk held on April 5th 2023, Professor Timothy Mowl explains how the very idea that Bath, Wood’s grand artefact and a byword for classical order, should owe as much to the prehistoric stone circle at Stonehenge strains credibility, as does his obsession to evoke a lost Druid civilisation in the city, which had everything to do with his imagination, nothing to do with reality. Wood’s restored Bath was to provide the template for Robert Adam in his Edinburgh New Town and the inspiration for the crescents and circuses of the spa towns of late Georgian and Regency England.
Professor Timothy Mowl FSA, Emeritus Professor of History of Architecture and Designed Landscapes, University of Bristol
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