This fascinating advert appears in the Bath Directory of 1846 :
It reads :
“CARTER’S Riding School, Livery & Commission Stables,
Top of Russell Street, Bath
Ladies & Gentlemen taught the Polite Art of Riding by an Experienced Master
Horses & Carriages of every description let for hire
Horses Broke & Trained for every purpose
Job and Post Master
Capital Boxes for Hunters
Families Supplied with Hay & Corn – at the Market Price”
And (thanks to Andrew Swift’s “On Foot in Bath” ) I found its original entrance.
To give some idea of what the school may have looked like this is an image of the slightly later Hollandsche Manege in Amsterdam
Intriguingly it was also used as a bicycle riding school at one point. Early bicycles or velocipedes were difficult to learn to ride, in a publication of 1869 the author “Velox” wrote :
“the velocipedes are positively to be found in our streets by hundreds, and our gymnasiums and riding-schools are thronged by anxious learners and expectant possessors of the new iron horse and carriage combined. “
There is also an excellent blog about the earlier “Dandy Horse” here
I thought I had found another image when I read about a “Portrait of Lizard, the pillar horse, in Capt. Carter’s riding-school” by William Sawrey Gilpin RA, but it dates from 1763, so not the same riding school. Good name for a horse though. One of the dictionary definitions of pillar is “The centre of the volta, ring, or manege ground, around which a horse turns”, or it could refer to the posts between which the horse stands in some forms of classical dressage training.
There were other riding schools in Bath. In “The Strangers’ Assistant & Guide to Bath” of 1773 R. Cruttwell wrote
“In rainy weather thofe who chufe to take exercife or learn to ride, may do it very conveniently in a large, commodious Riding-fchool, kept by Mr. Scrace, in Montpelier Row. The days for Gentlemen are Mondays, Wednefdays, and Fridays; and for Ladies, Tuefdays, Thurfdays, and Saturdays. The terms for thofe that learn to ride and ride the managed horfes, are three guineas per month or 5s. 3d. a leffon. Gentlemen whofe horfes are kept at the Riding-houfe, are allowed to ride them in the fchool gratis.” (sorry, I can’t resist a long S)
The riding school in Montpelier, Bath from Bath In Time
In the 1841 Bath Directory John Stevenson is listed as the proprietor
The riding school in 1890 from Bath In Time
There was a neighbouring pub on Julian Road called “The Manege Horse” – it was sometimes known as “The Managed Horse”. The riding school was demolished in 1973.