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Parade Gardens

Social Setting

Bath's Georgian architecture reflected 18th century social ambitions.  The city was a destination for pilgrimage, and for playing out the social aspirations of fashionable spa culture.  The social, economic and physical re-birth of the city as an internationally famous spa resort was largely due to the patronage and vision of three key characters: the architect John Wood Senior, wealthy postmaster and stone entrepreneur Ralph Allen and Bath's famous Master of Ceremonies Richard 'Beau' Nash.  Visitors flocked to Bath.  The list of famous and influential people who visited, lived in or wrote about the city is extensive.  Customs and practices associated with 'taking the waters' were practiced and developed here. The fashion for promenading influenced the design of Bath streets and gardens. The rules and etiquette governing polite society were embodied in buildings such as the Assembly Rooms and Pump Room.