The Circus

Circus from above

Inspired by the Colloseum in Rome and Stongehenge in Wiltshire, the Circus is an all-round architectural gem!

Architect John Wood the Elder had some pretty rum ideas about the history of architecture. He was fascinated by pre-historic remains such as Stonehenge, as well as the masterpieces of Greece and Rome. These and more inspired his design for the Circus, although he never got to see it finished because he died shortly after the foundation stone was laid.

Man walking on the Circus

For photographers, the peculiar thing about the Circus is that – being round – it is almost impossible to photograph it all! You have to be in a balloon (see above).

So on the Classic Bath Photo Tour we tend focus on the details, particularly the gorgeous facades of the Circus’s 30 houses. (By the way, did you know that the Royal Crescent also has 30 houses?)

Circus facade

The best time to photograph the Circus is when the sun is low in the sky: either in the morning or the afternoon. The photo of an ironwork lamp holder below was taken on a clear winter’s morning. I love the strong shadows and shapes.

You can also have fun photographing the shadows that the trees in the center of the Circus cast on the facades. That’s a good time to shoot in manual or try out the exposure compensation button on your camera.

Circus ironwork

As I often tell people who come on the tours, the trick to photographing Bath is often to cut out all the modern elements you can find. Sometimes easier said that done. Shooting upwards is a good tactic, though.

Circus rooftops