Forsyth (2003) tells us the Circus was originally called the King’s Circus. John Wood the elder (1704 – 1754) designed it and laid the first foundation stone in 1754. His son John Wood the younger built it in the main and completed it circa 1766. Unfortunately John Wood the elder did not see it finished, as he died 23 May 1754. This piece of architecture It considered by many to be a monumental design, the best the father and son duo ever built.
History of Bath's Circus
The Circus is a circle of Georgian terraces that was built in 3 segments of equal length. There are 3 street entrances that run into it between the segments. It has 33 terrace houses of different widths around it.
The Southwest segment was the first to be completed. We know this, as it was the first to be leased between 1755 and 1767. It has 11 houses along it lying between Gay Street and Brock Street. There are consecutively number houses 1 to 10 along here. It starts with no 1, which has Gay Street running down the side. The 11th house has its main fascia along here but, has a side entrance thus its address is no 1 Brock Street.
Forsyth (2003) says the leases for this first segment are what made the project. If you can imagine the standing gained in the country when you have famous residents like the following. Number 7 was leased to William Pitt the Elder, 1st Earl of Chatham (born 15 November 1708 - died 11 May 1778) who was appointed as M.P. for Bath (9 July 1757) and was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at a later date. His sister was no 8 and his socialite relation Lady Hester Stanhope (born 12 March 1776 – died 23 June 1839) was at no 6.
The second segment to be completed was the Southeast segment. This is according to its lease dates of 1762 to 1766. This segment has 11 houses along it numbered 20 to 30. It runs from Gay Street to Bennet Street. The additional house called Circus House on Bennet Street. It has 2 windows from each floor on the Circus and a basement entrance here. Its main entrance is located on Bennet Street.
The last segment to be built was the North. First recorded leases for the buildings range from 1764 to 1766. It starts with an additional terrace that has an entrance on Brock Street. The rest of the houses run between Brock Street and Bennet Street as numbers 11 to 19.