The Story Behind the Roman Baths in Bath

The Roman Baths, Bath
The Roman Baths, Bath | © Diego Delso/WikiCommons
Sarah Dawson

As one of the UK’s biggest tourist attractions, the Roman Baths in the beautiful city of Bath really are a must-visit. Here’s everything you need to know before you go…

The history of Bath is intrinsically linked with the natural hot springs that the city is founded upon. The first shrine at the site of the hot springs was built by an Iron Age tribe called the Dobunni, who dedicated it to the goddess Sulis (who they believed possessed healing powers). In 43AD Britain was invaded by the Romans and by 75AD they had built a religious spa complex on the site, which later developed into a bathing and socialising centre called Aquae Sulis, ‘the waters of Sulis’.

The Roman Baths, Bath

Using the hot mineral water that rose through the limestone beneath the city, channelled through lead pipes, the Romans created a series of chambers including the baths, ancient heated rooms and plunge pools. The baths were a huge draw and people travelled across the country to bathe in the waters and worship at the religious temple. After the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the early 5th century, the baths were neglected and fell into disrepair, before being destroyed by flooding.

In the 17th-century, doctors began to prescribe the drinking of the thermal waters for internal conditions and illnesses. The first Pump Room opened in 1706, allowing patients to access water directly from the spring – it’s now a beautiful restaurant!

The Roman Baths, Bath

It was in 1878 that Major Charles Davis – the city surveyor architect – discovered the Roman remains of the baths, and worked to uncover these over the next few years. The site was opening to the general publics in 1897 and has been excavated, extended and conserved throughout the 20th century. In 2011, the Roman Baths completed a huge £5.5 million redevelopment, to help with accessibility and to preserve it for the next 100 years.

The baths, and the accompanying museum which houses artefacts from the Roman period, attracts over one million visitors a year, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in England.

Roman Baths, Abbey Church Yard, Bath, UK, +44 1225 477785

landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article