Roman Baths – Best places to Visit in Bath, UK.
While visiting Bath, you can immerse yourself in history, from the Roman baths to the terrace houses of the late Georgian era. Walk in the footsteps of historical celebrities along narrow streets and lanes and discover where Jane Austen lived, or those who passed through eg. Queen Victoria.
Walk where Romans walked on 2000 year-old pavements beside the steaming pool and find the answers to all your questions. The Roman Baths are much easier to navigate no than they were when I first visited around 30 years earlier.
The website says….Find out about what was happening at the Roman Baths site over the last 7000 years and the evidence (archaeological finds, maps and documents) which help us to understand what was going on.
The stone tank still surrounds the Spring, although the roof fell down sometime in the 6th-9th centuries. The water still goes either to the Great Bath or through the Roman drain to the river Avon.
So the Roman plumbing is still working! Amazing isn’t it??
Roman baths were like our leisure centres. They were big buildings with swimming pools, changing rooms and toilets. They also had hot and cold rooms more like modern Turkish baths.”Fascinating Facts…
- The Roman Baths is below the modern street level and has four main features, the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman bath house and finds from Roman Bath. The Georgian Pump Room is on the ground level.
- The water in the Great Bath now is green and looks dirty. This is because tiny plants called algae grow in it. In Roman times the roof over the bath would have kept the light out and so stopped the algae from growing.
- Excavating under The Roman Baths
There is a stone tank around the Spring. It’s sealed with lead to stop the water from leaking away. It can only go two ways: to the baths or through a big drain out to the river.
- The roof over the Spring was added later. Statues of gods and goddesses stand in the water. Plants grow on the walls and sometimes birds fly through the windows. It seems more like a pool in a wood than a water tank in the centre of a town
The Romans didn’t use soap: they rubbed olive oil onto their skin, when they had sweated lots they scraped off the oil and dirt with a special shaped tool that they called a ‘strigil’.
Date. What was happening at the site? How do we know?
5000 B.C. People hunted near the Spring. Found their flints.
100 B.C. We think that Iron Age people worship Sulis. Found coins they threw into the Spring.
50 A.D. Romans come to Bath. Found coins of this date.
500 A.D. Roman buildings collapse. Found remains of fallen buildings.
675 A.D. Saxons build a church near the site. Found their skeletons.
1100 A.D The Spring becomes important for healing again. Written documents and maps.
1727 A.D. Minerva’s Head and parts of the Temple are found. Records of the discoveries.
1880 A.D. The Baths are discovered. Photographs and letters
1981 A.D. Archaeologists excavate the Temple courtyard. Reports, photographs, Roman things.
2010 A.D. There is still a lot more we can discover about the Roman Baths and Temple and the town of Aquae Sulis.
Areas of Roman Baths –
- “Apodyterium(that’s a Changing Room): Where we take off our clothes and leave them in cupboards. Here you can pick up a towel.”
- Tepidarium (that’s a Warm Room): Here there is warm water in the pools and so adults sit in them and relax. You might rub yourself with olive oil in this room.”
- “Caldarium (that’s a Hot Room): This is very hot! It’s heated by the hypocaust (that’s underfloor heating) and the floor is so hot you have to wear wooden shoes or jump about a lot! This is where you sweat lots.”
- “Laconicum (another Hot Room): This is a small round room where you can sit and sweat even more!”
“Natatio (a Swimming Pool). This is a long pool where you can swim or splash about with your friends. The water is warm here and comes from the Spring.”