EXTRA TALK - 24th June (postponed from 1st April)


SPEAKER: Dr Amy Frost

When William Beckford (1760-1844) moved to Bath in 1822 he had already lived a long and extremely eventful life. Having been the richest commoner in England as the head of a family whose wealth derived from the slave trade, he became an outcast living in exile abroad before returning to England to build the extraordinary Fonthill Abbey in Wiltshire.

Beckford created one of the greatest collections of art, objects and furniture in Europe, but lack of funds led him to sell much of it, alongside his family estate, and retreat to more affordable Bath.

As Beckford’s Tower embarks on a major capital project to conserve, open up and interpret the landscape and architecture Beckford created in the city, this talk will draw upon new research to explore the life of William Beckford in Bath.


Dr Amy Frost is the Senior Curator of Bath Preservation Trust, which operates No.1 Royal Crescent, Beckford’s Tower & Museum, the Museum of Bath Architecture and the Herschel Museum of Astronomy. She specialises in British architecture of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century and is an expert on the life and aesthetics of the British collector and writer William Beckford (1760-1844).