Elton House

Abbey Street, Bath

Overview

Elton House is in the very centre of Bath, close to the Abbey. It is a handsome and spacious Georgian building, one that you can imagine characters from Jane Austen novels emerging from.

  • CotCot
  • Open SpaceOpen Space
  • BathBath
  • DishwasherDishwasher
  • Outside Dining FurnitureOutside Dining Furniture
  • MicrowaveMicrowave
  • ShowerShower

Beds 2 Single, 2 Twin, 2 Double

Sleeps
10
4 nights from
£714 equivalent to £17.85 per person, per night

Accommodation for affluent Georgians

Elton House overlooks Abbey Green near the remains of the medieval priory, right in the centre of Bath. The earliest part of it dates from just before 1700, but it was subsequently enlarged and refronted by Elizabeth and Jacob Elton, when they purchased the lease from the Duke of Kingston. It was enlarged to provide lodgings for visitors wishing to take the waters. By 1750, it had become a handsome robust building on several floors, with a fine staircase and excellent joinery, arranged as sets of lodgings to accommodate the affluent Georgians who flocked annually to Bath. Thereafter the fashionable world moved up the hill, away from Abbey Green; part of the ground floor became a shop and the rest of the house stayed as it was.

Miss Philippa Savery

It was given to us in 1982, with lots of lovely furniture, by Miss Philippa Savery, a gallant campaigner for the city’s preservation. Peter Bird, our architect, described his work there as rather like 'conserving a cobweb.'  In 1946 Miss Savery, looking for somewhere to sell antiques from, came upon it in neglected but unaltered condition; home to twelve different tenants and with a cobbler’s shop on the ground floor. Miss Savery patiently bought up the leases until she was mistress of the whole house, now functioning again as one. The garden she created at the back of the house is a particular source of pleasure, as is the view of green fields above Bath, still to be enjoyed from the windows at its front.

Floor Plan

‘I felt as though I belonged to the city for a weekend.’

‘A large historic house which manages to feel intimate and welcoming.’

From the logbook

Map & local info

Elton House, right in the city centre close to the beautiful Abbey, is in a perfect location for exploring the wonderful World Heritage city of Bath, with its wealth of historic buildingsparks and gardens, restaurants, cafes and elegant shops - plenty of entertainment to suit all tastes.

The ancient Roman Baths are certainly not to be missed. In the summer months, the Baths are open until the evening, a truly magical experience in this remarkable building. Experience the natural thermal waters for yourself by taking a dip at the Thermae Bath Spa, whilst enjoying spectacular rooftop views of the city at the same time.

Take a stroll along The Royal Crescent and The Circus to absorb the historic atmosphere of two of Bath's famous landmarks, built between 1767 and 1775 and designed by John Wood, the Younger.

You can get free or discounted entry to many of Bath’s museums and galleries with a National Art Pass, which enables its members to enjoy free entry to over 240 museums, galleries and historic houses throughout the UK as well as 50% off entry to major exhibitions.

The pass is presented by one of Landmark's partners, the Art Fund, the national fundraising charity for art, which has been supporting museums and galleries for over 110 years by helping them to buy and display great works of art for everyone to enjoy. Income raised through the National Art Pass goes straight back into their charitable programme. Find more about it at artfund.org/national-art-pass.

Lunch or afternoon tea at the Pump Room is a real treat. Look out for special offers alongside spa treatments at the baths for a truly indulgent experience. 

For more information and ideas of things to do during your stay at Elton House, please see our Pinterest Map

Please Note: The Landmark Trust does not take any responsibility and makes no warranties, representations or undertakings about the content of any website accessed by hypertext link. Links should not be taken as an endorsement of any kind. The Landmark Trust has no control over the availability of the linked pages.

Elton House
Abbey Street, Bath
Clear directions

‘I felt as though I belonged to the city for a weekend.’

‘A large historic house which manages to feel intimate and welcoming.’

From the logbook

FAQs

    What you need to know about this building

  • Does the property allow dogs?

    No.
  • How is the property accessed?

    Directly from the street (three steps up from street level).
  • What is the nearest railway station and how far away is it?

    Bath Spa – 0.3 miles.
  • Is there car parking specifically for Landmark guests?

    No, there is variable street parking (at cost). In summer you may have to park some distance from the property.
  • What type of heating does the property have?

    There is gas central heating.
  • What are the kitchen facilities?

    The kitchen is fully equipped with all plates, cutlery, fridge etc. There is also an electric cooker, dishwasher and microwave.
  • What are the bathroom facilities?

    There are four bathrooms, three have baths and the other has a free-standing shower unit.
  • Does this Landmark have steep, narrow or spiral stairs?

    The stairs are highly polished so care is needed.
  • Is there a garden or outside space?

    There is a small enclosed garden.
  • Is there higher than expected background noise?

    The property is in a city centre location, next door to a public house.

    Booking and Payment

  • What happens if I can’t get to the Landmark due to bad weather?

    If the weather is bad, please contact our booking office who will be able to tell you whether the Landmark is accessible. If the housekeeper can safely get to the building to prepare it then we consider that it is open and available for guests. However if we cannot undertake a changeover then we will do our utmost to transfer your stay to another Landmark, depending on what we have available. It may not be of a similar size or in the same part of the country as your original booking. If the building is accessible but the customer cannot travel due to poor weather in his/her local area then please be aware that Landmark will not provide a refund. However the customer may be able to claim on his/her own travel insurance. We recommend that all guests take out travel insurance when they first secure a booking.
  • How can I pay?

    We accept Maestro (if issued in the UK), Visa, MasterCard, direct transfer and sterling cheques drawn on a UK bank. Cheques should be made payable to the Landmark Trust except for Lundy stays and boat/helicopter tickets which should be payable to The Lundy Company Ltd. All payments must be in sterling.
  • How do I create an account?

    If you have not used the Landmark online booking facility before and you wish to register in advance, you can set up an on-line account by following the instructions below:

    Go to the Landmark home page and click on Gift shop (located at the top of the home page in red).

    Select a gift (e.g. Landmark Handbook or Anniversary Mug) and complete the ‘Amount required’ box. There is no need to complete the purchase but this step is necessary in order to bring up the registration page.

    Click ‘Next Step’ at the bottom of the page.

    This will bring you to the ‘Your details’ page.

    Please complete all the fields (name, address, contact details and create an account). Click on the green ‘Create Account’ button once you have finished.

    At the top of the page headed ‘Your details’ there will be a grey box saying ‘Signed in’ and underneath this it will say ‘you are currently signed in as ….

    Here you will also have the option to ‘Sign out’. Please do so and that is your registration completed.

    Please return to the Landmark home page.

    To check your registration or update your account details at any time please ‘Sign in’ using the icon in the top right-hand corner of the home page.

    If you experience any problems in registering or setting up your on-line account please contact webmaster@landmarktrust.org.uk.
  • How do I pick up the key?

    There are various arrangements for picking up keys. To arrange to get into the Landmark, please contact the housekeeper at least two days before your stay
  • Can I pay a deposit?

    If your stay starts more than three months from the date you make the booking, you are required to pay a deposit of one third of the cost of your stay (or £100 per booking, if greater) at the time of booking. Camping on Lundy must be paid for in full at the time of booking.
  • How can I cancel or change my booking?

    If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please contact our Booking Office on 01628 825925
  • Do you accept payment in other currencies?

    At the moment we only accept payment in sterling.
  • What if I arrive late?

    Please let the housekeeper know if you are going to arrive late and s/he will leave a key for you in a suitable place.
  • How far in advance do I need to book?

    It depends. Some of our most popular Landmarks are booked up a long time in advance, but many can be booked at short notice. We will always have Landmarks free for the coming weekend so it’s always worth checking our availability list.
  • Do you have to be a member to book a Landmark?

    No, Landmarks are available to be booked for anyone.
  • Do I need a Handbook to be able to book?

    No, all the information you need can be found on our website, although we’d like you to buy one anyway as it will be a pleasure to own!

    Staying at a Landmark

  • Are Landmarks accessible for people with disabilities or limited mobility?

    Some of our Landmarks are suitable for people with disabilities or limited mobility. However, many Landmarks have steep or narrow staircases, uneven floors and thresholds, changes of level, low ceilings or beams, as well as indistinct colours on steps and in corridors. We recommend that you call Booking Enquiries on 01628 825925 if you would like to find out the suitability of a particular Landmark for anyone with a specific disability.
  • Are Landmarks only available as self-catering accommodation?

    Yes, Landmarks are only available as self-catering accommodation. We do not offer bed and breakfast.
  • Do you provide catering?

    Landmark does not provide catering, but we can recommend Greycoat Lumleys who can arrange for expert and well-trained staff to cater for one evening or for your entire holiday. Their cooks and chefs are able to work with you to meet your specific requirements
  • Do you allow dogs?

    You may bring up to two dogs to properties where dogs are allowed (please see specific property details for exemptions however dogs are not permitted on Lundy except assistance dogs). They must be kept off the furniture and under proper control.
  • Can I bring a pet?

    Apart from two dogs (see above) no other pets are permitted.
  • Am I insured if I break something?

    We do not carry insurance for breakages. However we appreciate that accidents do sometimes happen. If you have a breakage during your stay, please let the housekeeper know and if appropriate we reserve the right to invoice you accordingly.
  • Are Landmarks suitable for children?

    Yes, most of our Landmarks are perfect for children, with gardens to play in and secret places to discover. Our furniture is surprisingly robust and we positively encourage families to stay. However, some of our buildings may not be suitable for small children; for example, some of them have steep or uneven spiral staircases. We recommend that you call the Booking Enquiries team if you would like to find out the suitability of any of our Landmarks for young children.
  • Can I get married in a Landmark?

    Unfortunately, most of our Landmarks are not licensed for weddings. However, you may get married on Lundy.
  • Can I hold a big party in a Landmark?

    All our larger Landmarks are perfect for gatherings of family or friends. You may invite an additional two guests to visit you during your stay, however they must not stay overnight. This is very important because our fire regulations specifically note the maximum number of people in any one building. In addition our properties are prepared, furnished and equipped for the number of people specified and greater numbers cause damage and excessive wear and tear to vulnerable buildings. Should this condition be ignored we shall make a retrospective charge per person per day (whether or not they stay overnight) for each guest over the permitted limit, the charge being pro-rated on the total cost of your booking.
  • Are there televisions in the buildings?

    We deliberately do not provide televisions and find that most people appreciate this.
  • Why are your access tracks sometimes difficult?

    One of the challenges of restoring unloved buildings is gaining access to them. We frequently have to negotiate rights with our neighbours and share tracks with them. In many cases tracks do not belong to us and we have no right to maintain them. Wherever possible we work with our neighbours to provide you with a good quality surface, but where this is a problem then you will be warned at the time of booking.
  • Will there be sockets for my electrical appliances?

    Yes, we have standard electricity sockets for UK appliances. If you are coming from outside the UK, you will need to bring your own adaptor plug(s). If you are visiting one of our European properties we have standard European electricity sockets. If you are visting from the UK, you will need to bring your own adapter plug (s).

    Facilities

  • Are the kitchens and bathrooms restored to a modern standard?

    Sometimes our kitchens and bathrooms have to be imaginatively fitted into the available space in buildings where before there were none, but they are all planned and equipped to a high and modern standard.
  • Is linen provided?

    Yes, Landmarks are fully equipped with sheets and towels. All the beds are fully made up for your arrival.
  • Are the kitchens fully equipped?

    Yes, our kitchens are well equipped with cookers and fridges. There are freezers and dishwashers (in larger buildings) and, where space allows, microwaves as well as a wide and standard range of utensils. A full equipment list is available at time of booking.
  • Do you provide logs for the open fire/stove?

    Logs are provided at many of our Landmarks for an additional cost.
  • Will there be a mobile signal in the Landmark I book?

    Mobile coverage varies. Some Landmarks have an excellent signal, but others have none at all. If you are concerned, you can check with the housekeeper before your arrival.
  • Is there Wi-Fi in your buildings?

    No. At the moment, we have decided not to implement Wi-Fi in our buildings following a consultation with our customers. Many said that they would find it useful, but many also felt that it would somehow damage the experience of staying in a Landmark. As the responses were so split, and as we have so many other initiatives requiring funding, we have decided to put this on hold for the time being.
  • What should I bring with me? Are there lavatory rolls, soap, shampoo, milk, teabags, coffee, hairdryer?

    A welcome tray with tea and sugar awaits your arrival and you will find a pint of milk in the fridge. We also provide lavatory rolls and a bar of soap, per basin but no other toiletries. We do not provide hairdryers.
History

The first to stand here

In 1699 John Hall of Bradford-on-Avon granted to Edward Marchant of the City of Bath, and a Mason and builder, a lease of the plot of land on Abbey Green now occupied by Elton House. At this time the larger properties that had occupied the site of the Abbey Precinct since the Dissolution were being subdivided and built over as their owners sought to extract a profit from them. The area to the north of Abbey Green had been a garden, belonging to Charles Swallow, so the house built by Edward Marchant must have been the first to stand here.

This earliest house seems to have been of three floors, with a substantial basement but only one room deep; the rear wall of the north-east basement room has a window in it, showing the room behind to be a secondary addition. In the basement was a kitchen and a second room in which there is a stone niche, or Buffet, with a fine shell head. This, with other fine masonry detail in the central lobby, led to the theory that this might at one time have been a main floor, but it now appears more likely that all have been moved from elsewhere.

At the back of the first house there was a central wing, probably for a stair. There is good reason to believe that it in fact contained the existing very fine staircase, which was later moved to its present position. It still relates to earlier floor levels.

Between about 1710 and 1720 this first house was enlarged by the addition of wings on either side of the stair but extending west beyond it on all floors. This could have been part of the original plan, since only at basement level do there seem to have been windows in the back wall.

Edward Marchant was a developer as well as a builder and profited from the early 18th-century building booms in Bath. His will, dated 1735, shows that he lived in Elton House himself. His daughter Ann was allowed to stay on there after his death, in the room that had been her lodging for several years, although the house and its furniture were to go to another daughter, Elizabeth Brydges. In 1738 Elizabeth, now a widow, was married a second time to Jacob Elton, Alderman of the City of Bristol.

Elizabeth and Jacob Elton almost certainly lived in Bristol and not in Elton House. However they made several alterations and improvements to the house after 1749 when they purchased the lease from the Duke of Kingston. It is likely that these were intended to convert the house into sets of lodgings to accommodate the affluent visitors flocking to the city.

The house was re-faced in ashlar and given new windows; the ceilings of the rooms on the first and second floors were raised, and decorated with new cornices, fireplaces and panelling. The staircase was moved into a new stairwell set further back between the side wings.

Further additions have been made since; an attic storey, window bays to the rear wings, a block of closets at the southern corner, the cottage and most noticeably the shop front, probably all of around 1800. At the same time, through many changes of owner and countless different occupiers, Elton House has, in its essential character, survived as it was made by Edward Marchant and his daughter Elizabeth Elton. It tells of the more humdrum and provincial side of Bath, a side that existed alongside the formal grandeur of the Woods but has now largely disappeared.

Although it is the Eltons’ name that has stayed with the house, it was theirs for less than 30 years. In 1765, the year of her husband’s death, Elizabeth Elton’s trustees sold it to Joseph Terry, Haberdasher. His family owned the house, now called 2 Abbey Street, for 120 years, although they do not seem to have lived there after about 1830. In 1851 it was let to a grocer who later, having risen to the position of Superintendent of the Mineral Water Baths, bought the lease.

In the 19th century the area around Abbey Green was no longer fashionable or prosperous and most of the houses were divided into innumerable tiny dwellings. Elton House was no exception and it was in this neglected but unaltered condition that it was first seen by Miss Philippa Savery in 1946; home to twelve different tenants and with a cobbler’s shop on the ground floor.

She was looking for somewhere to set up a business selling antiques and was soon the occupier of the front half of the shop and rent collector for the whole house on behalf of Miss Dingle, the owner. As Miss Savery worked hard on a Sunday to get ready for opening, one of the tenants sang hymns to make up for her irregular behaviour. But the antiques shop was soon well-known and loved, especially by the people of Bath who recognised it as a symbol of much that was disappearing around them and they would arrive with artefacts rescued from the debris of demolition.

As rooms fell empty, Miss Savery took on the tenancies and finally on Miss Dingle’s death in 1962 was able to buy the whole house. Miss Savery died on November 27th 1996. Until then she and Elton House had been full and equal partners. Much ingenuity and imagination had gone into their survival together and their skilful evasion of the heavy hand of modernisation. The garden she created at the back of the house is a particular source of pleasure, as is the view of green fields above Bath, still to be enjoyed from the windows at its front.

Restoration

Conserving a cobweb

In 1982 Miss Savery handed on the care of Elton House to the Landmark Trust. Peter Bird, our architect, described his work there as rather like 'conserving a cobweb.' 

We have decorated and mended as gently as possible so that nothing shows. The roof has been renewed and we had to rebuild the tottering south gable, as well as carrying out some masonry repairs. The antiques shop, sitting room and cottage are now used by a couturier and Miss Savery’s kitchen is the housekeeper’s linen store. The rest of the house is the Landmark, where we have made two bathrooms on the top floor and a kitchen replacing Miss Savery’s bathroom. In April 1996 we were able to open Elton House as lodgings for a week or two to a new generation of visitors to Bath.

 

Availability & booking

Select a changeover day to start your booking...

What's a changeover day? and Why can't I select other dates?Explain MoreQuestion

A changeover day is a particular day of the week when holidays start and end at our properties. These tend to be on a Friday or a Monday but can sometimes vary. All stays run from one changeover day until another changeover day.