ST7564 : The Great Bath

taken 6 years ago, near to Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, Great Britain

This is 1 of 2 images, with title The Great Bath in this square
The Great Bath
The Great Bath
The magnificent centrepiece of the Roman baths is a 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 40 metres. For many Roman visitors this may have been the largest building they had ever entered in their life.

The bath is 1.6 metres deep which is ideal for bathing and 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 (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, 1565 images   (more nearby )
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  City, Town centre 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! ST 7506 6471 [10m precision]
WGS84: 51:22.8532N 2:21.5847W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! ST 7508 6472
View Direction
West-southwest (about 247 degrees)
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Hot Springs  Roman  Bath 

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