Some friends moved from New Zealand to Bath and so on a recent trip to the UK we just had to go see. The Romans had been here before us. The town was called Aquae Sulis back in 70AD and the waters named for the Celtic goddess Sulis.
It flows out of the ground at between 70 and 100 degrees Celsius (from natural geothermal activity).
The Romans played (and conducted business ) here for hundreds of years till their retreat. There was originally a caldarium, tepidarium, and frigidarium and several temples. Once abandoned it became buried under millennia of silt and debris which may have helped preserve all the artifacts.
The signs give clues as to what you can and can’t do, such as,
there is to be no falling in the water.
All the tell tale signs the Romans leave all over Italy are here too. The underfloor pillars to enable the heating system, the mosaics, the construction methods. It is well worth a visit. https://www.romanbaths.co.uk/about
Below you can see my husband enjoying a taste of the waters.
Geochemical Characteristics of the Bath Thermal Waters
W.M. Edmunds and D.l. Miles
Chemical and isotopic composition of the King’s Spring Borehole 1986
Temp (°) 44.4, pH 6.70 , EH (mV) variable
Diss O2 <0.1, Na 228, K 18.1
Ca 390, Mg 58, HCO3 – 187
SO4 1030, Cl 335, NO3 <0.05
Si 19.5, Sr 6.3, Ba 0.03
Li 0.23, Rb 0.011, F 2.0
Br 2.0, I 0.042, B 0.59
Se <0.002, Total Fe 1.0, Total Mn 0.05
Cd <0.001, Co <0.001, etc etc etc… https://www.romanbaths.co.uk/walkthroughs/spa-water-fountain
He tells me that for all its healthful qualities, it was absolutely awful.
Bath itself has lovely hilltop walking paths administered by the National Trust with views across the city and beyond. We didn’t get this far but a part of the park called Bushey Norwood is an area with an Iron Age hillfort and early Roman earthworks. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bath-skyline
The Pulteney Bridge in Bath dates to 1774, reminiscent of a Florentine Ponte Vecchio. It has gorgeous views over the Pulteney Weir.
There was a Duchy of Cornwall village called Newton St Loe near our Bath accommodation. Called Niwetone back in 1086 in the Domesday book; it has a Roman connection too. Remnants of a Roman Villa with its mosaics were uncovered in 1837 not far from the village, then destroyed constructing the railway right over the top. What a staggeringly sad outcome for what should have been a national treasure. The village does have a gorgeous farm shop and cafe. Once we found it, I kept going back throughout our stay spending nearly all of our food money right here: http://www.newtonfarmfoods.co.uk/index.php
According to my fellas, the pasties in Bath are pretty good too. These had no Roman connection at all.