When I was planning my trip to England, I knew I wanted to explore the town of Bath. Bath has a lot to offer but keep reading to learn more about my trip to the Roman Baths.
My great-grandfather (on my dad’s side) was from Cornwall. My family took a trip over there to investigate where he was from when I was a kid. One of the clearest memories I have from that trip is exploring the Roman Baths. I remember enjoying it but I don’t think I quite appreciated the history at the time. The city of Bath was founded in 60 AD. Yes, you read that correctly. The 1st century. You don’t often get the chance to see places that still exist from that time.
Roman Bath History
The entire town of Bath is a UNESCO world heritage site and the Roman Baths are right in the heart of the city. The area is on fault line which creates a natural hot spring. It is believed that the Celts may have used this area as a place of worship dedicated to their goddess, Sulis. The Romans constructed the Temple of Sulis Minerva with the bathing complex being gradually built up over the next 300 years. They named the bathing complex, Aquae Sulis. When the Romans left, the baths fell into disrepair and were eventually covered due to flooding and silt. Over the years, the baths were restored and modified. The original baths are not used anymore (one of the pools was lined with lead, so, probably for the best) but you can enjoy the hot springs in a modern spa which is right next door.
Exploring the Museum
There is also a museum as part of the complex which was really interesting and well done. They show you what life was like for the Romans and have various displays of items found in the excavations. The coins here were found in 2007 near the baths. The hoard contained 17,577 Roman coins that span the time periods of 32BC – 274AD. There were 8 separate bags of coins which had all fused together. No one knows yet why the coins were hidden. One of history’s mysteries still!
The museum has digital recreations of life in those times along with statues and architectural elements to explore.
While here, you need to explore the ruins of the temple and the baths themselves. The Great Bath is largest and is lined with 45 sheets of lead. I believe this is why the color is such a striking green! Archaeologists believe this was originally covered by a barrel vaulted roof so it would not have been exposed to the elements like it is now. You can feel the history when you are down in the ares where people would bathe. It is like going back in time!
Tell me more, tell me more
The Roman Baths are located smack dab in the heart of Bath.
Hours: Open from 9:30 to 5, daily
Tickets: You can buy tickets when you get there but here is my tip. I arrived at 9:15 and had purchased my ticket ahead of time. So, I was in a different line and was the first person in. That is how I got a lot of the shots of the Great Bath with little to know people in it! Plus, it is fun to take your time and explore without tons of people blocking things in my opinion.
More information: Head to the Roman Baths website here for more info and tickets.
For more posts on what I got up to in England, click here!