ST7564 : Roman Baths - Statue of King Bladud

taken 7 years ago, near to Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, Great Britain

Roman Baths - Statue of King Bladud
Roman Baths - Statue of King Bladud
The first shrine at the site of the hot springs was built by Celts and was dedicated to the goddess Sulis, whom the Romans identified with Minerva. Geoffrey of Monmouth in his largely fictional Historia Regum Britanniae LinkExternal link describes how in 836 BC the spring was discovered by the British king Bladud who built the first baths.

The statue of King Bladud overlooking the King's Bath (the site of the ancient Sacred Spring) carries the date of 1699, but its inclusion in earlier pictures shows that it is much older than this.

The lettered panel beneath the niche that reads

BLADUD SON OF LUDHUDIBRAS
EIGHTH KING OF THE BRITANS
FROM BRUTE, A GREAT PHILOSOPHER
AND MATHEMATICIAN BRED AT
ATHENS AND RECORDED THE FIRST
DISCOVERER AND FOUNDER OF
THESE BATHS EIGHT HUNDRED
SIXTY THREE YEARS BEFORE
CHRIST. THAT IS TWO THOUSAND
FIVE HUNDRED SIXTY TWO YEARS
TO THE PRESENT YEAR 1699

LinkExternal link Laurence Tindall, Roman Baths King Bladud 1982
The Roman Baths

Roman baths were part of the day-to-day life in Ancient Rome. The Roman Baths complex is a site of historical interest and major tourist attraction in the city of Bath. It is one of the best examples of a Roman bath complex in Europe.

There are four main features: the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman Bath House and the Museum holding finds from Roman Bath. The Roman Baths themselves are below the modern street level. The buildings above street level date from the 19th century.

The water which bubbles up from the springs at Bath, falls as rain on the nearby Mendip Hills. It percolates down through the limestone to depths up to 4,300 metres (14,100 ft) where the water temperature is raised by geothermal energy. Under pressure, the heated water rises to the surface along fissures and faults in the limestone. Hot water at a temperature of 46 C (114.8 F) rises here at the rate of 1,170,000 litres every day (LinkExternal link The Sacred Spring) from a geological fault (the Pennyquick fault).

In the past this natural phenomenon was beyond human understanding and was believed to be the work of the ancient gods. The first shrine at the site of the hot springs was built by Celts and was dedicated to the goddess Sulis, whom the Romans identified with Minerva. In Roman times a great Temple was built next to the Spring dedicated to the goddess Sulis Minerva, a deity with healing powers. The temple was constructed in 60-70 AD and the bathing complex was gradually built up over the next 300 years. After the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the first decade of the 5th century, these fell into disrepair and were eventually lost due to silting up and flooding. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (LinkExternal link ) suggests that the original Roman baths were destroyed in the 6th century.[14]

The baths have been modified on several occasions, including the 12th century when John of Tours built a curative bath over the King's Spring reservoir and the 16th century when the city corporation built a new bath (Queen's Bath) to the south of the Spring..

The Roman Baths were excavated, restored and opened as a visitor attraction in the late 19th century.

LinkExternal link Roman Baths website

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ST7564, 1623 images   (more nearby search)
Photographer
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Date Taken
Wednesday, 11 December, 2013   (more nearby)
Submitted
Tuesday, 17 December, 2013
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Sport, Leisure  Religious sites  City, Town centre  People, Events 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! ST 7505 6472 [10m precision]
WGS84: 51:22.8585N 2:21.5933W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! ST 7505 6473
View Direction
East-southeast (about 112 degrees)
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Other Tags
Hot Springs  Bath  Roman  Statue 

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