ST7564 : Roman Baths - Overflow from The Sacred Spring

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

Roman Baths - Overflow from The Sacred Spring
Roman Baths - Overflow from The Sacred Spring
Here, surplus hot water not required for use in the bathing establishment flowed from the spring into the great Roman drain. From there it was carried to the River Avon a few hundred metres away.

The water flowed through a sluice that could be regulated to completely drain the Sacred Spring and give access to the reservoir chamber for maintenance. The same system devised by Roman engineers continues in use today, nearly two thousand years after it was first built. (LinkExternal link Roman Baths website)
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, 1621 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Wednesday, 11 December, 2013   (more nearby)
Tuesday, 17 December, 2013
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Sport, Leisure  Religious sites  City, Town centre 
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Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! ST 7506 6472 [10m precision]
WGS84: 51:22.8586N 2:21.5847W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! ST 7506 6473
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West-southwest (about 247 degrees)
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Roman  Bath  Hot Springs  Overflow  Drain 

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