Bridgerton, the great success of this beginning of the year on Netflix, recreates with great freedom the life of London’s high society at the beginning of the 19th century. It is actually an American production, signed by Shonda rhimes (creator of Grey’s Anatomy and of Scandal, for example) and based on the novels by Julia Quinn. The camera shows the eagerness of young debutantes and their families to stand out in london parties and ensure a good marriage, but between romances and dances, fiction also lets us see the beauty of places like Bath, famous for its 18th century Georgian architecture.
The city of Bath is used to being a perfect stage for period dramas. They say that the Jane Austen Center -where the life of the Regency period (1811-1820) is analyzed- was established there in response to the influx of tourists who fell in love with these streets after the adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice” (1995) from the BBC, with Colin Firth. Since then it has been the scene of films such as Vanity Fair (2004), starring Reese Witherspoon, and The Duchess (2008), with Keira Knightley.
One of the backdrops that we can see in Bridgerton is Royal crescent, precisely in Bath, some thirty impressive semi-moon-shaped terraced houses. It is one of the most outstanding works of Georgian architecture. No. 1 Royal Crescent is today a museum that has been decorated and furnished just as it might have been during the period from 1776 to 1796. It is scheduled to reopen in April this year. In fiction it is the gateway to the home of the Featherington family.
In the zone of Abbey greenAlso in Bath, the fashion store that is key in this first season of the series is located, the place where the main families order the costumes that they will wear at the next party.
Bath Street, with its cobbled pavement and a line of colonnades on either side, built by Thomas baldwin in 1791, it appears in various street scenes. At the end of this street are Cross Baths and Thermae Bath Spa, where water gushes from the springs at a temperature of 46 degrees. It is a historic bathing area, a tourist landmark in the city, built around 1789. At the end of the 18th century, families flocked to Bath to “take the waters” from the natural hot springs discovered by the Romans.
Another area that has been used in the series for exteriors is Beauford Square and Trim Street, from 1730, with a design by John Strahan. The south side is formed by the original facade of the Royal Theater. There used to be a community garden in the center, which is now a small rectangular lawn surrounded by wrought iron railings. Around the corner from Beauford Square, the interior of a store on Trim Street also appears in the series.
The ballroom and some tea room take us to Assembly Rooms -Elegant public rooms in the heart of modern 18th century Bath life. They preserve spectacular original Whitefriars crystal chandeliers and the largest 18th century room in the city. When completed in 1771, these halls were described as “the most noble and elegant of all in the kingdom.” The Fashion Museum (Bath & North East Somerset Council) is located on the ground floor.
The exterior of the Holburne Museum – currently closed due to the pandemic – was used to film the entrance to one of the dance scenes in Bridgerton. In the impressive access to the museum, via Great Pulteney Street, the elegant facade and gardens of the building give an idea of its grandeur and history.
Whilst we are sorry to be closed we are, Dear Reader, revelling in the notion of the formidable Lady Danbury beautifully played by Adjoa Andoh living @Holburne via @Netflix#Bridgertonpic.twitter.com/HpKc1V4BXz
– The Holburne Museum (@Holburne) January 2, 2021
Founded by the Romans in 52 AD, perhaps it can be said that Bath – 185 km from London – is the most beautiful city in england, A World Heritage Site, with more than five thousand protected buildings. Nestled on a bend in the River Avon, which winds through the city under bridges reflecting its beautiful urban architecture, Bath became one of the most elegant and exclusive places in the country during the 18th century.