Bath is a city in Somerset, South-West England. It is famous for and is named after its Roman baths.
Tuesday, 18th May 2021
Tony outside Sally Lunn’s, a well known cafe in the centre of Bath. The building is one of the oldest surviving houses in the city with the sign outside claiming it dates from circa 1482. It is named after the legendary Sally Lunn. She is said to have been a Huguenot refugee, who arrived in the 1680s, and established a bakery. The cafe is well known for the famous Sally Lunn buns, which are similar to the sweet brioche breads of France. There is also a small kitchen museum inside.
Again Tony outside Sally Lunn’s. An entrance doorway and a curved bay window containing flowering plants behind.
The Roman Baths in the city of Bath originated in the first few decades of Roman Britain in the first century AD. A temple was originally constructed on the site and its presence led to the development of the small Roman urban settlement known as Aquae Sulis. The site remained in use for public bathing until the end of Roman rule in Britain in the 5th Century AD.
Today the Roman Baths are preserved in four main features: the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman Bath House, and a museum which holds artefacts from Aquae Sulis. All buildings above street level were reconstructed in the 19th century. The baths are a major tourist attraction, apparently receiving more than 1.3 million visitors annually.
View of the Great Bath from the upper floor of the museum. The Great Bath is a rectangular pool, which is 25 metres (82 feet) long and 12 metres (39.4 feet) wide. The water is continuously warm at around 35°C and is green in colour due to the presence of algae. The pool is today open to the elements but in Roman times was covered by a roof. The sides are covered by a colonnade supported by large stone columns. The Great Bath is a massive pool, lined with 45 sheets of lead, and filled with hot spa water. It once stood in an enormous barrel-vaulted hall that rose to a height of 20 metres (66 feet). For many Roman visitors this may have been the largest building they had ever entered in their life. The bath is 1.6 metres (5.25 feet) deep, which was ideal for bathing, and it has steps leading down on all sides. Niches around the baths would have held benches for bathers and possibly small tables for drinks or snacks. A large flat stone slab is set across the point where hot water flows into the bath. It is known today as the diving stone.
A concave piece of stone inside the museum at the Roman Baths. This would have originally been part of the drainage system.
Two more pieces of concave Roman stone, formerly used to carry water.
A small tablet of stone with an inscription bearing the date 76 AD. According to the information displayed beneath, this is the earliest inscription found at the baths and dates from around the time the site was first built.
The remains of a triangular pediment from the temple with a Gorgon head at its centre. The Gorgon is a mythical figure with the face of a bearded man with serpents coming out of his hair. The pediment is 7.9 metres (26 feet) wide and 2.4 metres (8 feet) high in the centre. It would have stood atop pillars at the front of the temple building. The Bath Roman Temple stood on a podium more than two metres above the surrounding courtyard, approached by a flight of steps.
Tony touching the remains of a stone half-column that stands immediately alongside the pediment with the Gorgon’s head.
A closer view of the stone pediment, with the Gorgon’s head partially visible to the left, along with the other surviving fragments.
Surviving blocks of stone cornicing from along the base of the Gorgon’s head pediment.
Tony touching a large Roman stone head in the form of a theatrical mask. It is thought to have come from a tomb. The head is male in form and is roughly four times bigger than life size.
Columns around the sides of the Great Bath with Victorian designed sculptures of Roman emperors standing directly above at the edge of a terrace.
Looking across the pea green water of the Great Bath with the base pedestal of one of the columns in front. People can be seen looking down from a terrace above.
Tony leaning on a large horizontal stone slab, used as a bench. Several of these are located outside, around the sides of the Great Bath. In ancient times, Roman Britons and others would lounge around the Great Bath and relax and/or socialise. It was one of the main reasons, beside bathing, to visit the complex.
Part of a balneum or immersion pool. Formerly a smaller pool adjoining the Great Bath. The sign in the photo says ‘Immersion pool / balneum’. A balneum or balineum, derives from Greek and means a small bathing pool or, more accurately, a small complex containing smaller pools. Such pools contained water kept continuously heated by fires that were operated by child slaves. The eastern range of the Roman bath house contained a large tepid bath fed by water that flowed through a pipe from the Great Bath. One of these may have been the ‘Immersion pool’. A series of heated rooms was developed here which became progressively larger until the site reached its maximum extent in the fourth century AD. The western range of baths includes a sequence of pools and heated rooms with good surviving hypocaust pilae showing how their heating system would have worked. The cold circular plunge pool is 1.6 metres (5.25 feet) deep. The original arched Roman viewing windows link the Circular Bath to the Spring in the King’s Bath.
Another view of the Great Bath with the tower of Bath Abbey visible overhead. The tower is 49 metres (161 feet) in height.
Again looking up from the Great Bath with more Victorian era statues of Roman emperors and the museum building in view.
A Roman brick arch at one end of the Great Bath. This is the remains of one of the arches that originally held up the large roof above the Great Pool.
Located near the Roman Baths, Bath Abbey is a former Benedictine monastery and now a Church of England parish church. Founded in the 7th century, it was reorganised in the 10th century and rebuilt in the 12th and 16th centuries. More recent major restoration work was carried out by Sir George Gilbert Scott in the 1860s. It is one of the largest examples of Perpendicular Gothic architecture in the West Country.
Tony directly in front of the grand West Door of Bath Abbey. These carved wooden double doors bear the coat of arms of the Montague family who donated the doors to the church in 1617. The surrounding stonework includes statues of St Peter and St Paul.
View of the 16th-century west façade of Bath Abbey. A large Perpendicular Gothic window above the West Door.
Tony by an old red phone box, which has been filled with colourful flowering plants. Located outside Bath railway station.