Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Roman Bath.

I found Bath very beautiful but everything from parking to buses was a rip-off; just to milk us tourists.

But even though the Roman Baths cost the two of us £27, they were probably worth it.

This is the main bath where all the socialising would be going on. The statues and the columns are all 19th century. The Roman remains are all at floor level and are the square blocks of stone.

Of course, the Pool would have been enclosed by a roof which would have kept the weather out and the heat in.

Everything went on around the baths - washing, talking, bathing, doing deals, gossiping.
This is an actor pretending to be a stone mason advertising his skills by the poolside;

I was fascinated by an area where the paving stones were worn down in a line. The archaeologists think this was where people queued up to buy oysters from a stall which had a chute so that running water was flowing by to keep the oysters alive.

This is a section of the stonework which brought hot spring water to the baths;

This is where the hot water comes from the spring into the main pool. It's hand hot rather than scalding; 

But the Baths are a whole complex. There is the sacred hot spring which was worshiped by the ancient Britons as the home of their god Sulla. It was then taken over by the Romans who merged that god into their own god of healing, Minerva.

There was a temple, the large pool and a complex of hot and cold rooms and small baths.

To keep the water hot, there was a lead pipe carrying water from the spring to the smaller pools. It's an amazing feat of engineering, using local Mendip lead and remarkable plumbing skills;

Of course, there's always security - I'd have probably been in trouble with the bouncers then too;

This is a section of the Hypercaust - the tiles supported a stone floor and on the right hand side is a tunnel which brought heat into this steam room from a fire kept alight by slaves;

You could see the life going on around you in the remains of the Roman past.

There was also a museum of everyday objects but that's for another day.

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)

Home: helpmesortoutstpeters.blogspot.com

Contact me: neilwithpromisestokeep@gmail.com

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