Bath Abbey
In Brief

Bath Abbey


Construction value:

December 2021

Bath Abbey has been the centre for Christian faith in the UNESCO City of Bath for more than 1300 years. The Footprint Project ensures that it remains so for generations to come, through repair and conservation work and much-needed new facilities.

The £19.3 million programme of restoration, building works and interpretation will help to secure the Abbey’s physical future and improve its accessibility, sustainability, hospitality, and service to the city, as well as providing flexibility for worship.

Within the Abbey, the main focus was the repair and conservation of the historic floor. The works have revealed large parts for the first time in 150 years and allowed archaeology to take place that has added to the story of the church and the city.

 An environmentally-friendly underfloor heating system uses waste heat from the City’s natural thermal springs providing improved thermal comfort and a welcoming environment inside the Abbey.

In the undercroft and adjacent terraced, new spaces have been created that will serve the Abbey and those who work in it, repairing the Georgian buildings, but also creating unexpected spaces within them for learning, administration as well as a bespoke Song School for the 60-strong Abbey choir.

Revealing history

Initiated to conserve and stabilise the failing Abbey floor, the project also allowed for an extensive programme of archaeology and documentation to take place.

The works reveal all of the 891 carved memorial stones on the Abbey floor and show us the names of nearly 1500 people commemorated there. The stones represent a cross-section of Bath’s society from 1625 to 1845, including the important Georgian period chronicled by Jane Austen. The research, interpretation and conservation of the floor restores a crucial missing part of the story of Bath and its social history.

Read about the careful process of the recording, lifting, repair and relaying of Bath Abbey’s historic floor in Explore.

Narrow Module Image
Museum of the Moon

A short film showcasing the Museum of the Moon installation by artist, Luke Jerram, against the backdrop of the renovated Bath Abbey. 

Watch video
Hot spring water heating

Naturally hot spring water, first harnessed and channelled by the Romans, is used to heat the Abbey sustainably.

As the spring water from the neighbouring Roman Baths runs through the Great Drain alongside the Abbey on its way to the River Avon, heat is captured and fed into an underfloor heating system, using natural energy to maintain a comfortable temperature within the Abbey. 

Read more in our journal: Bath Abbey: just add water..!’ 

Narrow Module Image
Selected Awards

2018 Bath Property Awards Transformation Category

2018 Bath Property Awards Winner of Winners

Quote Image

"This project, in one of Bath's most iconic buildings requires sensitivity, imagination, diligence, creativity and multi-disciplinary engagement. Its success will echo down the years."

Judges Comments,Bath Property Awards 2018

"Footprint is very much a project with people at its heart. We'll have new learning and discovery spaces that will provide us with even more opportunities for local people to engage with the Abbey in new ways."

Ollie Taylor, Head of Interpretation, Learning and Engagement at Bath Abbey

Structural Engineer
Mann Williams
Lighting Design
Michael Grubb Studio
Wessex Archaeology
M&E Engineer
Buro Happold
SSH Conservation
Project Manager
Main Contractor
Emery Builders

person looking at the stones of bath abbey
Explore more Leisure projects:
Explore more Creative Re-use projects: