On my first visit to the UK in 2009, time constraints and a host of other distractions resulted in us missing the opening times of the Roman Baths.
My late arrival in the UK this month for my MA Heritage Management course meant I missed another chance to visit the baths again, as it was the first of monthly site visits which are a part of the course modules.
So it was a ‘woooohooo! I’m here!’ moment for me about two weeks ago when I finally set foot it the famed Roman leisure and religious site.
Was it all I expected? Maybe I’m easily impressed but it was! … and much more.
These are different times though and I had to book a time slot to ensure I get in as the number of visitors allowed in is now limited. And of course with a face covering on and stops at sanitizer stations along several spots.
The pool above is known as the King’s bath through which 1.17million litres of spring water flows through each day.
What is fascinating is that the water is actually 10,000-year old rain water that fell on the hills surrounding Bath, seeped through the soil, accumulating rich minerals on its way down into the earth where this water is then heated by the earths core.
It then makes its way back up to the surface via a faultline that causes the 40 degree Celsius water to spring up through.
Unlike the Romans who used the Bath as a meeting place for leisure as well as business meetings, visitors today aren’t allowed to touch or swim in the water as it isn’t hygienic.
The baths used to have a roof but it’s open now, so the sun allows algae to thrive. Hence the green hued water.
Sulis Minerva, the goddess to whom the Roman temple built at the site was dedicated to is a merger of the Celtic Godess of healing, fertility and health, and the Roman Godess of knowledge – Minerva. Her bronze head was dug up in 1727 as a sewer was being built along Stall Street in Bath.