Located in the City of Bath, The Roman Baths are a site of special historic interest and were probably first developed by roman soldiers and settlers around 60 AD. Currently the ruins of the Roman Baths are below the present street level. There are four main features: the Sacred Spring, the Roman Bath House, the Roman Temple and the Museum. Also on display are the remains of the elaborate hypocaust heating system which served the sweat rooms. The Sacred Spring is the source of the hot water for the complex. Rain that fell on the nearby Mendip Hill sinks down through limestone aquifers to a depth of around 2,700 metres where it is heated by geothermal energy to near boiling point. The now pressurised water is forced along natural fissures until it surfaces with an average temperature of 46°C producing 1,170,000 litres per day.
Legend has it that the hot spring was discovered by King Bladud and the ancient Celts who dedicated the site to the mother-goddess Sulis. The Romans associated Sulis with their goddess Minerva and the location became known as Aquae Sulis. Construction on the site was spread out over the next 300 years and at its peak, the Roman Baths of Aquae Sulis were the largest in Britain and covered an area of approximately 5,600sqm. The Roman legions were withdrawn from Britain around 410 AD and over the next 100 years the baths fell into ruin and were finally silted over.
Although the Roman baths were lost, knowledge of the hot springs remained and were an important feature of the town. During the 12th century John of Tours built a healing pool above the King’s Spring reservoir and during the 16th century the Queen’s Bath was constructed south of the site.
In 1727 parts of the Temple are found as well as a cast of Minerva’s Head. The full extent of the archaeological site was not fully appreciated at the time. In 1810 the waters appeared to stop rising but excavations revealed that the spring was as reliable as ever but that the waters had simply started flowing down a different channel which was easily corrected.The full discovery of the extensive Roman site took place around 1880 and excavations and research has continued since then.
Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Spout Lane, Nr Seend, Melksham
Wiltshire, England, SN12 6RN
+44 (0)1380 828 839
- Address: Abbey Church Yard, Stall Street, Bath, Somerset, England, United Kingdom, BA1 1LZ
- GPS: 51.38106667,-2.359663889
- Phone: 0044 (0)1225 477 785
- Part of UK: England
- Sat Nav Postcode: BA1 1LZ
- Disabled Access: Good
- Visibility from Road: Exterior Entrance Only