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John Wood the Elder (1704-1754). Detail from the oil painting, The Four Worthies. The only known image of Wood.

Built between 1729 and 1739, this was Wood's first successful development. The North side of Queen Square was designed to give the impression of a grand unified palace facade, but it is actually seven separate houses.

The obelisk is at the centre of Queen Square, where it was intended that the residents could promenade. Very different from the modern "bottle-neck" of traffic.

Stone die with carvings showing the original plan for the central "garden" at Queen Square. Corinthian Capital removed during conservation work in the 1960s.

The Circus was built between 1754 and 1767. It was commenced by John Wood the Elder, but he died shortly after the foundation stone was laid. His son, John Wood the Younger completed the project.

The roofline of the Circus is punctuated with acorns. Serving to illustrate Wood's belief in the Druids as the Princes of the Hollow oak and a reminder of the legend of how Prince Bladud discovered the healing powers of the hot springs.

The Circus was Britain's first circular street. It was based on the measurements that Wood took at Stonehenge and the two have roughly the same diameter.

The Building of Bath Museum's main web site.

To enroll for the John Wood study weekend or to find out what other residential courses the University of Bath offers.

If you're from another country, Learn English at your own pace.

Architectural Centre for the West of England. Based in Bristol they provide a number of activities, exhibitions and courses throughout the year.

The John Wood Exhibition

John Wood the Elder was born 300 years ago in 1704 and died in 1754. In this the anniversary year The Building of Bath Museum steps behind the classical fa├žade to reveal how one man's obsession led to the creation of Georgian Bath.

The Circus, one of Bath's most recognised landmarks, is often thought to be based on the celebrated Colosseum in Rome. It comes as a surprise then to discover that this strange circular building owes more to Stonehenge and the druids than it ever did to classical antiquity and the heathen gods.

In an age when the remains of ancient Greece and Rome were defining the nation's architecture, why did John Wood, creator of England's most famous neo-classical city, look towards druids, freemasonry and God for inspiration?

At the age of 21 John Wood had a vision for Bath. It was an individual and highly personal vision and it became his obsession. The manifestation of that obsession is the city we know today.

This exhibition investigates the development of this obsession explaining how Wood's extraordinary theories on architecture affected every building he imagined, and combined to form his ideal city.