Articles

A series of articles on different aspects of Bear Flat’s past days.

A Brief History of Bear Flat:  Take a gallop through the history of Bear Flat, from Romans to retail.  Why is Bear Flat so called? Why did King George VI visit Beechen Cliff?  What connects Beechen Cliff with ‘Tears for Fears’?  And do you remember Brian’s Toy Shop?  (This article has been updated March 2014).

A History of the Devonshire Roundhouse  One of the more unusual buildings around Bear Flat is the Roundhouse, set within Greenway Court near Devonshire Place.  The strangeness of the building is matched by its varied history, researched by local historian John Toplis

“Paradise Row, Holloway”   Beechen Cliff has been a source of inspiration for many artists, including Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy.  The famous and influential painter Walter Sickert  both visited Bath and spent his final years here.  We reproduce his painting in a short article here.

The Bear Brewery and Inn The Bear pub has been a feature of Bear Flat for over 250 years in its various manifestations. Local historian Phil Bendall has researched the history of the pub, from its earliest times to the present day.

Devonshire Buildings and Devonshire Place The magnificent late 18th century Devonshire Buildings pre-dates much of the housing development of Bear Flat. Connie Smith was a long time resident of Devonshire Buildings and wrote this detailed set of notes on the history of Devonshire Buildings, Devonshire Place and neighbouring places carrying the name ‘Devonshire’.

Mr Brook’s Cottage.  We are all used to estate agent descriptions of houses for sale or let.  See how this was done in the 19th century with these marvellous coloured drawings for the letting of Mr Brook’s cottage in Devonshire Buildings.

A History of Bear Flat Retail.  Bear Flat has long had a diverse and thriving retail sector.  Read how this has developed over the years.  This page is under construction.

A Brief History of Beechen Cliff Methodist Church.  Beechen Cliff Methodist Church was built in 1906 to service the spiritual needs of the new Poet’s Corner housing developments.  But Bath has had a close association with the development of Methodism since its 18th century founding.  Read a brief history of Bath Methodism and its development through to the 20th century, as well as the story of Beechen Cliff Church.

Occupations of an Edwardian Suburb The 1911 census has allowed a detailed investigation into the social and occupational background of Poet’s Corner.  Read Richard William’s description of his findings so far, including some of the more unusual occupations of the new inhabitants.  Richard’s website can be found at Bear Flat 1911 Census.

Convivial Order of Bears  We are very pleased to have heard from Christine Ashworth who sent us some information on a little known Bear Flat charitable society that operated out of the Bear Inn, Bear Flat.  This article derives from Christine’s information and contemporary newspaper articles.

A History of 131 Wellsway   Mervyn Heard, a member of the Bear Flat Hisory Group, lives at the highly distinctive bungalow that is 131 Wellsway.  His research into the building’s past not only sheds light on its original purpose (nothing to do with trams!) but also on its association with one of Bath’s fascinating 19th century inhabitants.

Expansion of Bear Flat 1890 – 1910 An interesting and informative article by Joan Eades, written in 1981,  on the suburban expansion of Bear Flat between 1890 and 1910, including the development of Bloomfield Avenue, Bloomfield Park and Poets’ Corner.  This article has been transcribed from an original manuscript and new illustrations added.  Mrs Eades original article can be found here.