One of the most exciting and highly anticipated elements of the “Our Tower” project has been the excavation of a lost piece of built heritage – the Grotto Tunnel – so you can imagine our excitement when works commenced on the excavation of it last month.
Back in 2021 a team from Bath Preservation Trust first discovered this long-lost underground tunnel, which was made to connect parts of the landscape William Beckford created between Lansdown Crescent and the Tower. Originally built in part of a ditch going into an old quarry, the Grotto is a clever combination of carved bedrock supporting a constructed vault. As part of the current capital works project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and several other generous supporters, the team are now excavating and reopening the grotto in order that visitors to the Tower can enter the space as part of their experience when the Tower reopens in 2024.
Take a look at the photos of the excavation so far below – we can’t wait to show you the final result in spring 2024!
If you want to find out more about this, and other examples of built heritage in Bath linked to the transatlantic slave trade, don’t miss our webinar on 27 September https://beckfordstower.org.uk/event/webinar-historic-buildings-the-slave-trade/