Roman Baths

The City Bath is a piece of Roman history in England

Roman Baths
Entrance to the Roman Baths
Roman Baths
Courtyard in front of the Roman Baths

Roman baths were part of the day-to-day life for Romans and  Bath in Somerset, England has one of the best examples of a Roman bath complex in Europe. I got to walk past these Baths every day on my way to work and couldn’t wait to explore them with my friends.

Roman Baths
The Cathedral is right behind the Roman Baths

The Roman Baths themselves are actually well below the modern street level. We entered through the Pump House where you can sit and have a coffee or even enjoy lunch. We walked through the Baths Museum with our audio guides actually getting to learn quite a lot about how they were built and why before we entered the main Roman Bath House.

Roman Baths
My first glimpse of the Roman Baths

I learnt that Roman houses had water supplied via lead pipes, which I am sure would never be allowed today. However, these pipes were taxed according to their size, so many houses had just a basic supply and could not hope to rival a bath complex. Therefore for personal hygiene, people went to the local baths. However, the local bath complex was also a gathering point and served a very useful community and social function. Here people could relax, keep clean and keep up with the latest news. Today Saunas are the closest we get to public bathing.

Roman Baths
They actually had lifeguard seats next to the baths

These Roman Baths were built over a natural hot water spring that brought over one million litres of hot water to the surface every day at a temperature of about 48 degrees centigrade. They say the water which bubbles up from the ground at Bath falls as rain on the nearby Hills. It percolates down through limestone where geothermal energy raises the water temperature an under pressure, the heated water rises to the surface along fissures and faults in the limestone. The Romans built a reservoir to control the water flow, baths and a temple. The town of Bath then quickly grew around this complex.

Roman Baths
Walking through the different roms of the Roman Baths
Roman Baths
The sacred spring……..

Many Romans viewed the springs as sacred and threw valuable items into the springs to please the gods. Some of these items can be seen in the Museum holding finds from Roman Bath. These include more than 12,000 Roman currency coins which is the largest collective votive deposit known from Britain.

Roman Baths
The Roman Baths are filled with beautiful collumns and statues

An altar was also built at Bath so that priests could sacrifice animals to the gods. This Roman Temple I found just past the main Baths.  I wonder if they burned sacrifices here as the smell must have been awful, but I am sure the heat must have been quite welcome during the winter months.

Roman Baths
Maybe we can reach the water before someone stops us…

The waters at Bath gained a reputation as being able to cure all ills. As a result, may travelled to Bath from all over the Roman Empire to take to the waters in what they called the Sacred Spring. You are not allowed to get into the water here anymore so it is quite hard to find out if this is actually true or not. And we found out that there are actually guard around to make sure you don’t get in.

Roman Baths
Last glimpse of the Roman Baths from the walkway above.


  1. It’s a fascinating place (and in general I really enjoyed my very short stay in Bath), though I’m really annoyed – I bought some of the gorgeous Bath glass jewellery in the gift shop at the Roman Baths, only to lose the earrings when I got back home!


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