Entry Hill from the Romans to Frank Lloyd Wright

Entry Hill is part of Fosse Way that ran diagonally across England from the Roman cities of Lincoln (Lindum Colonia) to Exeter (Isca Dumnoniorum) in the South West after passing through Bath (Aquae Sulis)

Entry Hill – the name tells you pretty much all you need to know. For generations this was the main route to and from Bath to the South West, and was a part of the Fosse Way, that ran diagonally across England from the Roman cities of Lincoln (Lindum Colonia) to Exeter (Isca Dumnoniorum) in the South West after passing through Bath (Aquae Sulis).

Although Entry Hill and the road network was important there was little population or housing either on Entry Hill itself or on Combe Down above it. Even in the 1930s the area from The Forester pub to the old Frome Road Workhouse had little housing.

So, it’s not surprising that there are few listed buildings in the Entry Hill area nor those that are there are mostly revised farm or quarry buildings as that was went on in the area until very recently.

The surprise comes in the form of Valley Spring, the only Grade II listed building in the Bath city area, out of well over 2,500, that is a 20th century building.

Valley Spring early 1970s

Valley Spring early 1970s

The house was built, between 1968 and 1969, for John Basil Womersley (1927 – 1979), managing director of Bath Cabinet Makers and Arkana, which specialised in contemporary and curvilinear tulip furniture.

It was designed by his brother Charles Peter Womersley (1923–1993). Farnley Hey, the first house he had designed for his brother won the RIBA bronze medal in 1958, and has been described as “one of the best demonstrations of the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright (1867 – 1959) in Britain”.

Valley Spring is one of Bath’s (and Combe Down’s) unknown jewels. It tries to follow Frank Lloyd Wright’s philosophy of organic architecture. To my mind it succeeds.