William Beckford created Beckford’s Tower using wealth that he gained through his links with the transatlantic slave trade.
We work closely with cross-sections of our local community to ensure that our collections and displays are fully contextualised and sensitively interpreted. One such project has been the creation of this banner which now hangs in the Tower staircase.
Young people from the Supplementary School programme run by Bath Black Families Educational Support Group have worked with artist Jacqueline Braithwaite to create artistic responses to the Tower and the story of William Beckford, which they then united together into the banner.
A strong theme expressed throughout their artwork, and the discussions that led to them, is the inequality of the privileged life that Beckford led in contrast to the lives of the enslaved Africans that he held in ownership.
Everyone involved in creating this banner hopes that you will look beyond the façade of this building, and below the surface of the objects Beckford collected, to see the source of the wealth that paid for them.
With thanks to:
• All the young people involved in the project
• Jacqueline Braithwaite
• Rob Mitchell
• Heritage Fund UK