Towns in the Cotswold region
The Roman Baths
Modern day Bath was an important site in Roman Britain and much of Bath’s international reputation derives from their engineering. The site is very well preserved with evidence of at least thirteen rooms which would have comprised the fully functioning baths in Roman times.
The Sacred Spring
This was the centre of the ancient monument and here the water flowed from source. It reached a temperature of 46 C which was unusually hot for Roman baths across the Empire.
The Roman Temple
This was the central area for worship until the increasing Christianisation of Britain in the late fourth century AD. The architecture shows Classical influences which is unusual for Roman sites found in Britain.
The Temple Courtyard
With the Sacred Spring in one corner, this was a place for sacrifice and worship.
The Façade of the Four Seasons
The purpose of this building is unclear but it contains beautiful decorations.
The Bathing Complex
The unusually hot water from the Sacred Spring made the bathing complex at Bath different from many other sites excavated across the Empire.
The Great Bath
This was the main bathing area and was fed directly by water from the Sacred Spring.
The East Baths
Water from the Great Bath was drained into this area. The water was usually more tepid at this stage in the cycle than the temperature in the Great Bath.
The West Baths
The excavation of this area in particular revealed some very well preserved examples of Roman ‘central heating.’ A number of pilae or piles of tiles were discovered which allowed hot air to circulate beneath the floor and thus heat the walls and floor of the room above.
This was the equivalent of a modern day sauna. It was a small room consisting of intensely dry heat to induce sweating.
The Circular Bath
Once the bather’s pores had been opened in the laconicum, the circular bath was a cold plunge pool, approximately 1.6m deep which washed away any remaining impurities.
The Spring overflow
This recycled the water because any that was surplus or unused was channelled to the drain.
The Roman Drain
Water from the Spring and the Great Bath was directed towards the River Avon.
The King’s Bath
The architecture of this section shows niches constructed in the sides which allowed bathers to sit in the water up to their necks.
Unfortunately visitors cannot experience the bathing for themselves because the lack of a roof has encouraged algae to grow in the water, turning it green. Additionally the original lead Roman pipes which would carry the water are deemed unsafe. The site however is intriguing for its architecture, one of the finest remaining examples in Western Europe.
Similar Cotswold Attractions: Belas Knap, Berkeley Castle, Blenheim Palace, Chedworth Villa, Gloucester Cathedral, Highgrove, Kelmscott Manor, Roman Amphitheatre, Cirencester, The Rococo Gardens, The Rollright Stones
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