Off now to Bath, on our way to Weston-Super-Mare for our first night away before the wedding at Clevedon. Bath is in Somerset, yet another county on the same day. 97 miles away from London and 13 miles from Bristol.
in AD60 the Romans built baths and a temple in the valley of the River Avon, and hey presto the spa town of Bath was born. It had the Latin name Aquae Sulis, or ‘The Water of Sulis’. In 1987, just one year after Stonehenge, Bath also received World Heritage status, now receiving 3.8 million tourists a year.
And you can see why.
We feel in love with Bath the very interest we walked in to the city.
It is just beautiful, stunning in fact – you get this feeling of “I love this place” as you walk through the flag stone buildings, avenues and monuments.
It is simply stunning.
Maybe on the old busker list as a place to move to if ever we come back to the UK to live.
The Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul below, also commonly known as Bath Abbey, is an Anglican parish church that was founded in the 7th century. Reorganised in the 10th century and rebuilt in the 12th and 16th centuries. It is a cruciform shape (yep in shape of a cross). The abbey is now a Grade 1 listed building .
Connecting architectures with mock bridges, depicting pagen gods.
Beautiful sculptures of angels and mothers and children.
Stunning work, warm to the look but cold to the touch.
A temple was constructed in 60–70 AD and a bathing complex was built up over the next 300 years. Roman engineers drove oak piles into the mud to provide a stable foundation, and surrounded the spring with an irregular stone chamber lined with lead. In the 2nd century, the spring was enclosed within a wooden barrel-vaulted structure, that housed the calidarium (hot bath), tepidarium (warm bath), and fridgidarium (cold bath) – how amazing is that? Modern day worlds such as Caldron, Tepid and Fridge clearly come from the Romans.
The city was later given defensive surrounding walls, probably in the 3rd century. After the failure of Roman authority in the first decade of the 5th century, the baths fell into disrepair and were eventually lost as a result of silting, but today after much excavation they look pristine – you can almost imagine the Romans sat around this central pool, dipping toes in, drinking wine and eating copiously.
The floor of the baths are actually 4 metres below the current floor level. So what you are looking at below, as in the pool, was actually the original city floor level.
Atop that sit watchmen.
Not sure who these are but pretty damn impressive, standing overlooking the main baths.
In to the exhibition now to view intricate mosaics of animals, and original temple floors as you walk along mezzanine pathways walking almost as if you were a Roman in the city – moving from temple to baths and beyond.
Incredible gold masks.
This beautiful one of a lady was found by engineers digging nearby.
Hit hot spa water gushing through the ground to heat steam rooms, the pool etc. Look at the orange colour of the oxides in the water that have settled over time.
My gang sat in the sun poolside.
More sentinels overlooking the baths.
Timeless in their gaze.
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to see through their eyes – I bet they have seen some things in their time.
My beautiful baby girl, sat by the pool.
Beautiful Amy boo.
And my Mary and Baby Jude – he he.
Yours truly taking some time to sit and chill.
Soaking up the wonder of the Roman Baths of Bath.
You truly could just sit here for an age, people milling past doing their site-seeing.
The light starts to fade and the fire lanterns light giving eerie glows to the arches and cornices around the baths. Again you really can picture the Roman ‘to-do’ lazing in here for hours on end.
This was funny.
I was taking a picture of the archway behind Jude actually when BOOM all of a sudden he pokes his head in to the shot – well can’t beat him, join him.
Nice photo Baby Jude.
There are still even the towel rings in the wall. A little corroded but there they are. Also a very well preserved seat for relaxing and enjoying the heat of the waters. They would say you could have many ailing people sat with you in the baths from wounded soldiers to those with disease. The baths were renowned as a bit of a ‘cure-all’.
Plunge pool now come wishing well come fund raiser.
Yes they actively encourage you to throw in a coin or two, make a wish and then I assume once a year will empty this and use to fund some repair or upkeep.
This is the front side of the baths where you actually enter in to a rather beautiful restaurant, receiving some rather funky warm water from the spa as you do.
Not sure of this sign though as seems to suggest potentially Victorian and beyond with it being King’s and Queen’s Baths.
We then make a bee-line for our over night stay at Weston-Super-Mare.
But on the way I noticed this in action – an old barge being taken down river. Down river on quite a steep piece of hillside. How to do that in a barge? Well you basically build locals and trap the water in between the gates to allow you to close the far end trapping the water, open the front end slightly to allow the water to escape, move the barge out. Close the front doors to block the water, one the back to fill it and repeat the process. Hey presto you have just dropped the barge down some 6-8 feet, literally making a boat go down-hill.
Quite amazing don’t you think?
Then turn round to see the following;
That is a LOT of locks to navigate.
OMG! Going to be a slow journey down.
Not on this barge, or even this canal – but I have done this a few times already. Renting a barge with mates and put put putting off down the river.
Maybe stop for a pint to two.
Maybe stop for a luncheon at one of the finest along the river.
Maybe even dip a rod in to see what luck you are having this day.
What a truly amazing day today was!!!