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At first glance, the city of Bath might give the impression its buildings date to Roman times. In fact, most of the building you see in the center of Bath date to the early 19th, late 18th century.

the pump room at Bath
Photo above - The "pump room", is your way in to see the ruins of the Roman Bath house.

Long before there was a city of Bath, from the mushy ground where eventually the Roman's would establish a settlement, natives found hot water bubbled from the ground. By the the time of the Celts it is clear the hot springs held a special place in their culture. The hot springs, unique in all of the Briton, in the mind of the Celts, provide a conduit to the goddess of rivers and steams. After all, hot water coming from the earth could only be coming directly from the goddess, Sulis.

Return to Bath top page.
The Roman Baths
Bath Abbey
Royal Crescent
the Circus

Outside links on Bath:
City of Bath
Wickipedia
Roman Bath official site

 

roman baths with bath abbey in the background
Photo Above ( by Jeremy VanNocker) - Towering above the Roman Baths is Bath Abbey.

When the Romans arrive, around 44 AD, they opted to respect the local goddess, if not the native druid priest/priestess which they viewed as trouble makers. The Roman's deduced, from the native's description of Sulis, that Sulis was non other than their own goddess, Minerva.

By the start of the 1st century, the Roman's established a temple to Sulis/Minerva and the area was well on its way to becoming a noted Roman center.

But, the Roman's time in Briton was short lived. By the end of the 4th century, with the lost of strong rule,villagers were fleeing their cities. Those that remain, either lack the resources or the interest to maintain the baths and its temple.

downtown street in Bath, England
Photo Above - A street in bath.


Photo above: The back of stores, perched on one of the bridges in Bath.

Eventually, a new village formed on the foundation of the old. A Covent and then a monastic church were granted land in the 7th and 8th century AD. Religious control of the land continue to the time of the Reformation. The hot springs, so essential to the importance of Roman Bath, was the economic engine for the village of the 16th century. Soon, ople from all over the world came to Bath, wanting to bath in and drink its "healing" spring waters.

Visit Avebury Standing Stones


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This page last updated September 2006