About us

The Museum of Bath at Work is run by Bath Industrial Heritage Trust Ltd, registered Charity no.800297, which was set up in 1978.

Bath Industrial Heritage Trust Ltd has a Board of ten volunteer Trustees and just one paid employee, the Museum Director.  The charity is currently fund-raising to secure the future of the Museum and its collections.  We have benefited from long association with and most generous support from the Clark family trusts, and we now aim to increase our income from all sources to ensure our success for the next 40 years and beyond. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of The Medlock Charitable Foundation (2019 grant and 2021 grants), The Swire Charitable Trust (2021 Covid-19 Fund grant) and The Headley Trust (2021 grant).

The Museum collection was initially built around the workshops, equipment and stock of J.B. Bowler’s mineral water factory in Avon Street, which closed in 1969 when the premises was due for demolition.  Local people, led by the Russell Frears and Dr Marianna Clark, worked tirelessly for several years to save the contents of Bowlers and to find it a permanent home.  Bath Industrial Heritage Trust was set up to manage the Museum.

J.B. Bowler’s work shops and mineral water factory in Avon Street, 1969

The unusual Grade II listed museum building was acquired on a long lease from the then Bath City Council in the late 1970s.  Interior alterations were made to accommodate the Museum collections.  It was built as a Real Tennis Court in 1777 and was also used as a riding school; the building has nineteenth century additions dated around 1830 when it was converted to a brewery.

The Mezzanine, The Museum of Bath at Work