The Earl and Countess of Wessex were in Bath on Monday to visit the Roman Baths and Bath Abbey. The Royal couple opened the remodelled Temple Precinct, an expansion scheme allowing an augmented visitor area and access to more of the ancient monument.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex with Edward Mason, Rector of Bath Abbey, admiring the Abbey’s fan-vaulted ceiling.
Energy-saving lighting and a suspended walkway above the precinct, will allow an aerial view for visitors. This autumn the installation of lifts to allow for wheelchair access will transpire.
“These improvements to the Roman Baths will make the experience much better for our visitors. The imaginative lighting scheme also supports the council’s drive to reduce energy bills and energy consumption,” Stephen Bird, Bath and North East Somerset Council head of heritage services noted.
The Earl and Countess stopped to visit the nearby abbey also.
“We are delighted that the Earl and Countess of Wessex were able to include the abbey in their visit to Bath. It was a wonderful opportunity for us to give the royal couple a glimpse of what we do here at the abbey,” the rector, Prebendary Edward Mason commented.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex finding out more about Bath Abbey’s Footprint project and peering through the glass to view the Norman cathedral foundations on which the current building now stands.
During their tour, the Royal couple viewed the ledger stone that commemorates Her Majesty’s 1973 visit in honour of the 1,000th anniversary of the birth of the English monarchy.
They also viewed needlework, medieval carvings, the foundations of the North Aisle and the initial repair that is presently taking place in that area of the church. The abbey is undergoing renovations and a modernisation project.
During their time at the abbey, Edward and his wife meet staff and congregation members as well as enjoyed an unplanned concert by the abbey’s youngest choir, the Melody Makers. The Royal couple also discussed the work of the Genesis Trust, a project that works with the homeless.
This is a busy week for Prince Edward and The Countess of Wessex, who will be in Scotland later this week.
Photos: ©Deborah Coleman/Bath Abbey