Fairfield House, Bath

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Fairfield House
Fairfield House, Newbridge, Bath.jpg
General information
TypeTwo storey ashlar villa
Architectural styleItalianate
Town or cityBath
Construction startedc1840
Design and construction
Architect(s)James Wilson

Fairfield House, in Newbridge, Bath, England is a Grade II listed building.[1] It was the residence of Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia, during the five years he spent in exile (1936–41). Following his return to Ethiopia, he donated it to the city of Bath in 1958 as a residence for the aged.[1]

The Italianate two-storey house was built around 1850, probably by James Wilson, on Kelston Road in the northwest outskirts of the city.[1]

The house has significance to the UK Rastafari movement because it was bought in 1936 by Haile Selassie I after the death of the previous owner Mrs Campbell-White, following a short stay at the Bath Spa Hotel, while the house was renovated.[2] He lived in the house with his family and staff for five years.[3] The renovation provided a large double drawing room with two fireplaces, and a dining room with pantry.

The rooms for Haile Selassie to meet contacts and supporters included a 'telephone room' or small office and the morning room. There were five principal bedrooms with rooms in the attic for servants.[2] There are numerous accounts of "Haile Selassie I was my next door neighbour" amongst people who were children in the Bath area during his residence.[4]

In 1943 it was used as a home for babies evacuated from Chippenham.[3] Haile Selassie gave the house to the City of Bath in 1958 during the visit when he was given the Freedom of the City.[2]

Fairfield House was used as a care home until 1993, when new room size requirements made it unsuitable for such use. Since then it has been used as a day centre by a number of groups including the Bath Ethnic Minority Senior Citizens' Association, Age Concern, the Ethiopian Coptic Church and a Rastafari church.[1][5][6]

In 2014 a community group, Friends of Fairfield House, were negotiating a Community Asset Transfer in order to preserve and develop the house.[7][8] In 2019 a Community Interest Company was established to support the running of the house as a community asset.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d Historic England. "Fairfield, 2, Kelston Road (Grade II) (1395932)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Haber, Lutz. "The Emperor Haile Selassie I in Bath 1936 - 1940". Anglo-Ethiopian. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  3. ^ a b "About Fairfield House". The House of His Majesty. Archived from the original on 24 September 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Haile Selassie". Last FM. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  5. ^ "Emperor Haile Selassie's gift to elderly too big a drain on council funds". Bath Chronicle. 7 January 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  6. ^ "Welcome to Bath Ethnic Minority Senior Citizens Association". Bath Ethnic Minority Senior Citizens Association. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  7. ^ "Visit to Fairfield House". City Pulse. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  8. ^ "Community Assets Transfer Programme". Bath and North East Somerset. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  9. ^ "Fairfield House Bath CIC". Companies House. Retrieved 20 November 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External links[edit]

Media related to Fairfield House at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 51°23′25″N 2°23′59″W / 51.3902°N 2.3998°W / 51.3902; -2.3998