Building a Healthier City 2: slum clearance, council housing and renovation in Bath, 1890-1995

The Wellcome Trust awarded Bath Record Office £172,750 to catalogue, conserve and make available records of the history of housing in Bath.

This project follows on from our previous Wellcome-funded project, ‘Building a Healthier City’ which made accessible records relating to basic public health infrastructure in Bath.

Work on the project began in January 2021 and will be complete by summer 2023. This project will open up valuable new opportunities for research into the relationship between housing and health. It will enable access to significant records relating to slum clearance, provision of council housing, and renovation of unfit properties in Bath. Spanning over a century, the records are a valuable resource enabling researchers to understand the different ways in which unhealthy housing was replaced or renovated, and to assess the success and failings of different approaches.

We are cataloguing approximately 90 linear metres of records and will publish the resulting catalogue online; the records will be repackaged, and remedial conservation will be carried out, where necessary, for preservation and access. With the result being that more than 100 years of Bath housing history will be accessible to all.

The collections included in this project are:

  1. Papers relating to slum clearance and rebuilding at Lampards Buildings and Dolemeads under the Housing of the Working Classes Act 1890
  2. Registers of and reports on unfit properties from the 1930s to the 1960s
  3. Registers of new dwellings provided by the council, 1949-1981
  4. Papers relating to public and local enquiries into Compulsory Purchase Orders, 1930s-1950s
  5. Papers and plans relating to Comprehensive Development Areas at Holloway and Calton Road, and Lansdown Road, 1960s-1970s
  6. Contracts, c.1893-c.1995
  7. Sealed orders, 1899-c.1983
  8. Housing Committee filing relating to housing, c.1905–c.1980s
  9. Plans of council housing developments, 1906–1975
  10. Photographs of new council housing developments, 1950s

To compliment this project, Wellcome Trust have awarded Bath Record Office a Research Enrichment Grant of £17,900 to enable staff to run a community engagement project entitled ‘Imagine: a hundred years of homes in Bath’ which you can read more about here.

Funded by: