Bath Record Office

Bath Record Office collects and preserves resources relating to the history of the City of Bath and North East Somerset covering the past 900 years and is run by Bath and North East Somerset Council.  Archives held by the Office include documents, manuscripts, maps and photographs.

They have a wide range of resources, so whether you are interested in discovering more about your local community, researching the history of a house, conducting research for a school, college or university assignment or conducting family history research, you will find the documents held of use.  

The knowledgeable and helpful staff are always on hand to help should you have any questions or require assistance.

Contact Information for Bath Record Office

Address:

Bath Record Office 
Guildhall 
High Street 
Bath 
BA1 5AW 

Telephone Number:

01225 477421 

E-Mail:

archives@bathnes.gov.uk

Collections

For information regarding their collections, please visit their Home Page.  Bath Archives has an online cataloguebut it does not yet include details of all of their holdings.  

If you looking for an ancestor's burial place, you may find them in the Bath Burial Index, developed by Philip Bendall, which has details of monumental inscriptions from over 50 of Bath's cemeteries and graveyards.  

The index uses information gathered from burial registers, burial registers indexes and surveys conducted by The Widcombe Association, The Bathwick Local History Society and the Beckford Tower Trust.  Containing 260000 entries, the index dates from the 1600s.

Resources held by the Office include:

  • Board of Guardians Records
  • Court and Police Records
  • Electoral Registers
  • Parish Poor Relief Records
  • Parish Registers
  • Property Records - Rate Books and Title Deeds
  • School Registers
  • Street Directories
  • Wills

Records of Bath Freemen and Tradesmen are also available, which include:

  • Aliens: Licences issued to Foreigners entering the Country 1798
  • Apprentices
  • Canal Boats: Registers of Boats and their Owners 1885-1926
  • Chairmen: Licences for the Operators of Sedan Chairs 1741-1756
  • Freemen 1712-1888
  • Licences: Public Houses
  • Wheelchairs: Registers of Bath-Chair Operators 1908-1945

Opening Hours

Archives Opening Hours can be found by going to their Opening Hours page.

Booking Requirements

It is important to make an appointment before you visit because it can be occasionally closed at short notice due to limited staffing. It is also important to reserve a computer or microfiche reader.

Location and Directions



Bath Archives is located in Bath city centre at the Guildhall.  Signs are available to direct visitors to the Archive, which is in the basement.  You can also ask in reception to be given directions.

Many buses stop at Bath bus station, which is a ten minute walk from the Archive. Another option is to use Lansdown Park and Ride, marked as Park and Ride North. Some parking spaces are available for blue badge holders outside the Guildhall.

Laptops

You are allowed to use your own laptop in the Archive, and free WI-FI is available.

Photocopying and Photographs

Office Staff can provide photocopies of many documents, but restrictions apply because some resources are fragile and easily damaged.  Copyright law means that some records cannot be copied.

You are allowed to use your own camera in the Archive, but are required to tell Office Staff before taking any photographs.  Some documents cannot be photographed because they are fragile and easily damaged and because of copyright law.  If documents are privately owned, the owner may have stated that he/she does not wish these to be photographed.

Eating and Drinking Facilities

No cafe is available at the Archive, but many eating establishments are within approximately three minutes' walk.  Space is very limited, so you are not able to bring your own food to eat in the Archive.

Accessibility

The Record Office is located in the Guildhall basement, but the only access available is via stairs, so you will have to ask the Office staff to bring you documents and other records you wish to consult - you need to contact the Office in advance of your visit so that the necessary arrangements can be made.

Once at the Guildhall, the building is accessible to disabled visitors via a level-access entrance next to the steps, but you need to call the Guildhall reception staff from an intercom on the door.

A lift is available, but this cannot be used if a fire alarm occurs.

Toilet facilities are available on the ground floor.

Research Service

If you are unable to visit in person, the Archive offers a research service.

Readers' Tickets

The Office does not operate a Reader's Ticket system, but you are asked to sign in each time you visit.



For details of other Record Offices in Somerset, please visit my page regarding Somerset Archives and Local Studies.