A pair of Bath’s most unusual and historic buildings have sold at auction for more than £150,000 – above a £25,000 guide price for each.
The West and East Sedan Chair Houses, which are thought to have been built in the 1730s, were sold by Bath & North East Somerset Council, one for £81,000 and the other for £79,000.
The buildings, which were built by the noted architect John Wood the Elder in Queen’s Parade Place, are single storey and measure just 100 square feet apiece.
Councillor Charles Gerrish, (Conservative, Keynsham North), Cabinet Member for Finance and Efficiency, said: “The council has a policy of continually reviewing its properties and these were not part of its heritage estate. Although these are unusual and historic buildings, they had only a very low rental income and are were not easily lettable because of their size and lack of essential facilities. Capital receipts generated from the sale of the properties will be re-invested into the Council’s portfolio. Because the buildings protected by Grade II-listed, any future development by their new owners would have to be in accordance with statutory listing regulations. ”
The lodges, which had a guide price of £25,000 each, were sold by Savills on Monday, November 6, 2017.
The buildings were designed as lodges for sedan chairmen where they would wait between ‘rides’. Sedan chairs, which were named after the town of Sedan in France, came to England in the early 16th century and were initially the preserve of the rich. However, by the early 1630s they were in more general use.
As Bath expanded at this time so the sedan chair became the mode of transport of choice for negotiating the city’s streets.