Sunday, 15 June 2014

The American Museum in Britain - Part ll

The American Museum in Britain housed at Claverton Manor, Bath, takes you on a journey through the history of America, from it's early settlers to the twentieth century. It has a large number of period rooms from all across America recreated within the manor, an impressive collection of folk art, and an exhibition featuring both native Americans and important events during America's history. 
Claverton Manor built in 1820 replaced an earlier Jacobean manor. It was bought by John Vivian in 1816, who was a barrister, solicitor to the Excise, and a bencher of the Middle Temple. Vivian had intended to renovate the Jacobean manor, but was persuaded by his architect Jeffry Wyatt, later Sir Jeffry Wyatville, to build new, rather than restore. Constructed in Bath stone, the house is neoclassical in style with Ionic pilasters and a pediment on the south facade. 

There are two semicircular projecting bays on the east facade 
To the north and south there is a 7 meter high screen wall topped with stone balustrades and urns adjoining the house
Entering through a sunlit, dappled, courtyard leads on to the main garden
Welcome to George Washington's Garden in Bath reproduced from his home at Mount Vernon, Virginia
The sign reads - Vernonia fasciculata - Prairie Ironweed

via
which looks like this when it flowers in July and August
Sitting on the South lawn facing the manor is a bust of Abraham Lincoln
entrance to the Arboretum
If you are unfamiliar with Bath then a visit to Claverton Manor should include at least one day spent in the beautiful Georgian city of Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage site
The west front of Bath Abbey with it's angels forever ascending and descending Jacob's ladder on the stairway to heaven
The Roman Baths
The Royal Crescent
This is just the very tip of the iceberg of things to see and do in Bath. It is also blessed with lots of specialist shops selling unique goods, and great places to sit and watch the world go by with a cup of coffee

56 comments:

  1. Museum looks very beautiful. The path way is full of green which gives a pleasant look.

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    1. Thank you for visiting - it is a great museum

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  2. Hello Rosemary, I have come across many references to remarkable objects in the American Museum, and look forward to one day visiting there, especially since I now know about its attractive gardens and proximity to Bath.

    I also encountered some amazingly high-quality American pieces by surprise in the Victoria and Albert museum. Generally, the flow of early art from England to America has been one way, so it is nice to see these pieces being displayed and appreciated.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - I think you would like a trip to Bath there is so much there including the museum that I should imagine you would enjoy seeing.
      The museum does make you realise that everything in the States is not necessarily new, and that you do have a rich heritage too.

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  3. Helo Rosemary. I didn't know there was an American Museum in Bath. I visited Bath years ago and saw many attractions there, including the a Roman baths. Should I go again I will definitely put the museum on my agenda. Nice photos!

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    1. Dear Sanda - I suspect that may be true of many people - the museum is about 1 mile away from Bath high up in the hills near to the university. The museum now has a free pick up and return bus in Bath behind the Abbey to make a visit easier for visitors without a car.

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  4. You are doing nothing to help stop my desire to visit the museum!!! I had no idea that there were such beautiful gardens there as well. I think that I have decided where I want to go for a day out for my birthday now, I had been tossing up Wilton House as an option after your post about your visit there, but it is not good, I have to go to Claverton!! It is stunning, and your photos and descriptions are, as always!, delightful and beautiful. Thank you for taking us along. xx

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    1. Thank you for your very generous comment Amy and for the kind things you said about WFVM on your blog.
      Both places are lovely, I couldn't recommend one more than the other, but as you like crafting you would probably enjoy seeing Kaffe Fassett's work.
      I have the solution, visit both places, one for your birthday the other an extra birthday treat.
      You might find it easier to do what we did. Bath is a very congested city to get in to. We went to the Park and Ride not too far off from the M4, you can then get a free shuttle bus to the American Museum behind the Abbey. The first bus leaves at 12.15 but be there by noon as it only holds 14 people, you then get a free journey back.

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    2. Thank you for the suggestion Rosemary, I will try and remember as it is a little way to my birthday yet! xx

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  5. Never made it to Claveton, but love Bath!

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    1. Hello Mac n' Janet - thank you for your visit - Bath is a lovely city which you both seem to have enjoyed.

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  6. I had heard of Bath and that it is worth a visit but had never heard of the beautiful manor and garden you show here Rosemary. If ever I visit Bath, I'll remember your post! Thanks! It is so beautiful, love those gardens, especially the part with the wildflowers, or I think that's what it is.
    Marian

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    1. Dear Marian - if you can manage at some time do visit Bath, it is a lovely city, but needs a few days to do it justice. Hope you do get to visit at some time in future.

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  7. I didn't see the garden when I visited 40 years ago. I think my 20 year old self was not nearly as interested in things gardeny, as I would be now. It is clearly beautiful, and you show Bath, at its best, bathed in gentle sunlight...lovely. Jx

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    1. Actually you are not alone Janice - neither did I. The garden is not obvious as it is to the far side of the manor and slightly down a grassy hillock. I only knew about the garden because I looked the museum up on the internet - previously we didn't have Google to give us all of this extra information.

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  8. What an impressive house and garden Claverton manor is! Although I have been to Bath several times, I have never been to the museum.

    We all love Bath though. Such a special town full of history!

    Happy week!

    Madelief x

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    1. If you visit again Madelief it is worth visiting the manor. The museum run a special small free bus service to take you up and down from Bath as the manor is on top of one of the steep hills.

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  9. Claverton Manor is an intriguingly shaped building and I rather like the idea of an American museum for a change. But the thought of all those hedges to clip gives me the heebie jeebies, although they look nice, what a time consuming job. I have never been to Bath your photos do it proud and how the stone of the buildings looks glorious in the sunshine.

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    1. Dear Elaine - I have to admit that we have lots of box hedging, and about 40 box balls too, but my husband works his way through them and they take him about a week to trim. He has already done them for this year, but they don't need any more attention until next year.
      Apparently it is the only American Museum outside the States.
      You must visit Bath sometime.

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  10. The classical garden is really impressive , love all the box hedges ! I would love to see Bath, have heard ( and read) so much about it !

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    1. I hope you can visit Bath one day Jane - it is a beautiful city with so much to see and do, and surrounded by beautiful countryside.

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  11. It's a lovely garden, lots of colourful and exuberant borders as well as the formality of the box. Their Peony Bowl of Beauty has more buds than mine!

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    1. I expect that their peony is more mature Jessica - I am sure yours will be just as good in time.

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  12. I only know Bath from BBC costume dramas - but how I'd love to visit for real!
    American folk art is so beautifully colourful. We have our own history up here, north of the border, but there are many similarities.

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    1. One of the lovely things about Bath is its situation. It is completely surrounded by hills which means that the streets are very steep giving wonderful vistas, it is also blessed with lots of lovely parks.

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  13. I've been to Bath on more than one occasion and simply love it. Never been to Claverton Manor though. It does look wonderful and the gardens so vibrant. Patricia x

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    1. Because it is up in the hills near the university I think that it often gets forgotten about. I had visited the museum previously but not for a long time. They now have a free shuttle bus to and from the museum from the centre of Bath which helps.

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  14. The American museum looks so very enticing, Rosemary, and I know I would love it if I ever return to Bath. The reproduction of George Washington's garden is a beautiful, inspired idea. When I saw your photo of the cathedral above the Roman Baths, I am astonished that we didn't notice or visit it. We certainly loved exploring the Baths, and later the Royal Crescent and Jane Austen House, but now I have to return if only to see those lovely angels going up and down the ladder! What a beautiful facade it is. Thank you for sharing it all.

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    1. I am sorry that you missed the beautiful honey coloured abbey Patricia, inside and out it is a joy. That is the problem with Bath there is so much to discover and see along with the beautiful parks and surrounding countryside. The Angels are one of my favourite pieces of stonework anywhere, I always pay them a visit when in Bath, but you are not alone Patricia lots of people miss them. If someone is standing nearby to me, I always point them out.

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  15. Dear Rosemary,

    I am absolutely charmed by those angels ascending and descending the ladders of the cathedral. What a brilliant idea someone had! Anglophile that I am, I have always imagined that I would like having an apartment on the Royal Crescent — the thought comes to mind every time I see a picture of it. Incidentally, in George Washington's actual garden, the structure that is seen in the 11th image from the bottom is/was a privy.

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    1. Dear Mark - I believe that the little building you refer does offer the same function in Bath as well.
      The Royal Crescent has a wonderful outlook over parkland down to Bath and then on to the hills beyond.

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  16. Just amazing architure and gardens.

    Greetings
    Filip

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  17. Loved all the photos, and I realised that, incredibly, I have never been to the American Museum even though I have been often to Bath. Next time I go down that way, I'll rectify that.

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    1. I think that a lot of people miss it Jenny because it is out of the centre up on the hill where the university stands. You can catch a free pick up and return bus from behind the Abbey to the museum - details on their website.

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  18. Just like Mark, those descending and ascending angels caught my attention as well! I had missed those when I visited Bath - but I have fond memories of the Cricket Club not far from the Roman Baths and also visiting the Royal Crescent (I thought it would be fun to rent a place!) and learning about the ha-ha and seeing the model apartment. The Fashion Museum in Bath was rather a disappointment for me, however. Too much space (in my opinion had been spent on current day (2007) fashion. Lovely city and next time perhaps I'll get to Claverton Manor since I missed seeing Mount Vernon when my daughter was studying at Mary Washington University in Fredericksburg, Virginia. We got to see a lot of that area, and I do know that she enjoyed seeing G. Washington's home during her stay.

    Mary in Oregon

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    1. The ha ha is a very interesting feature the way if forms an effective but invisible partition between the lower and upper lawns, thus giving an uninterrupted view from the park. I am sorry that you missed the angels, another reader from Australia also said she missed them. I always point them out to visitors if someone is standing near to me whilst I am looking at them. I suppose we should always remember to look up.

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  19. It's hard to drag me away from the contents of Claverton - it's full of my favourite things. But the gardens are very beautiful too! Like Janice, I missed them when we visited.

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    1. I missed the gardens too on my first visit, they are not obvious to find especially if you don't know that they are there. I made a point of seeking them out on this visit having seen images of them on the website.

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  20. This looks like my kind of blog - and you take some great photos. Following you as A Bit About Britain and the museum is on the list!

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    1. Thank you for following Mike and also your very kind comment. I will pop over and see you shortly.

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  21. Bath looks very interesting, the more I see of it, the more I like it. I do love the arched bridges.
    The garden is wonderful with it's buxus trimmed to perfection, seen in many of the photos over time that you have shown.
    Can't say I care for the green water in the Baths - or is that the colour of the sides, I wonder.

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    1. Dear Margaret - the green hue is the result of algae caused by the waters exposure to the open air. In Roman times the pool was roofed over to keep the light out and its waters clear. Other pools inside the building are thermal and in fact crystal clear.

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  22. What wonderful gardens and as for Bath, I can't get enough of it, Rosemary. Your photos really are stunning. I imagine one could spend days going through the fascinating displays in the American museum.

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    1. Every time I go to Bath I think I should visit more often. It is such a short journey for us, we use the Park and Ride on our side of Bath which is free of course for you and me.
      You are correct, the American Museum together with the Kaffe exhibtion really needs much more time than one visit.

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  23. An incredibly beautiful post with gorgeous pictures Rosemary! We visited Bath last Christmas but I didn't know the existence of this museum surrounded by those amazing English gardens. I would like to revisit Cotswolds, you live in a privileged area.
    Olympia

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    1. Thank you Olympia for your very generous and kind remark. The museum is situated on the same hilltop as the university, not down in the city of Bath, and that is probably why you did not know about it.
      I hope that you will come again Olympia, soon♡

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  24. Lovely lovely pictures. I have been to Bath. Stayed in a small village near there......Box. May actually be called Boxhall. We stayed at Fogleigh House...a big beautiful English Mansion.
    I know I would enjoy that American museum. Thanks for taking us there...Janey

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    1. Hello Janey - it is Box, I have a friend who lives there.
      I am sure that should you return you would enjoy the American Museum it has a very good collection, is beautifully situated, and also has a very tempting shop of things to buy. I treated myself to a lovely Shaker Box from them.

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  25. Dear Rosemary,
    What a beautiful place the American Museum is.
    Its garden splendid indeed, with all those beautiful trimmed bushes and flowers so abundant.
    I noticed tables outside on the patio of Claverton manor. ! It looks like one can sit and have tea and enjoy this wonderful place.
    Your photos are so lovely Rosemary.
    Another beautiful home that i enjoyed visiting with you.
    val x

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    1. It is a lovely day out Val - they have a restaurant serving all kinds of food especially American things - home baked cowboy cookies and brownies, Snickerdoodles, etc which you can eat on the terrace.

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  26. A natureza...é a moldura mais perfeita para qualquer edifício/monumento...fotos maravilhosos que me encantaram...
    Beijo
    Graça

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    1. Caro Graça - muito obrigado pelo seu comentário gentil. Eu estou contente que você tenha gostado de ver o post. Foi lindo de ouvir de você.

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  27. What a glorious post Rosemary, your photography is REALLY stunning! I was particularly taken with the angels climbing up and down Jacob's Ladder! You are really whetting my appetite for the beautiful English gardens and architecture that I am soon to be enjoying first hand. It is hard to believe that the grass can be that green. Before my first visit to the UK I always thought the greens on postcards and in magazines had been artificially enhanced. We've had a lot of rain lately so everything is green and lush here but it is a decidedly less vivid shade -albeit still beautiful.

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  28. Coffee? Coffee? What about a nice cup of Earl Grey??? :) I've actually been to Bath, Rosemary and I have such wonderful memories. I even have great photographs tucked away in an album - it was years ago. What a delightful place. I even remember the bus ride leading up to the city, the gorgeous greenery on either side and the glimpses of beautiful old homes.....sigh. Thank you for reminding me of my trip with this wonderful post.

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