I spent the day exploring Bath and was very gratified. It is beautiful with knooks, pedestrian streets, unique and beautiful shops and history and bustle.
The town is centered around a natural hot springs that the humans have known about and been using for ever. The Romans built a bath there, and there is rich warm Bath Abbey. I could spend a week here, but a day and a half and two free town tours is enough to get a good sense of place and history.
The entire town of Bath is a world heritage site, sharing that honor with Venice. (Umm, Italy, not Florida or California)
Bath Abbey has a long history. Those are angels climbing a ladder to heaven, and descending too, one headfirst.
Interior of Bath Abbey
The pews were crafted by Irish craftsman who carved this pagan Leafman into the ends of two of the pews.
A touching memorial to two peoples love. Notice there are no dates, implying love is eternal. “Their love was disinterested” means that it was not about money or property… A lovely docent singled me out and showed me these cool things which I would have otherwise missed.
Lovely musical angels.
The whole band.
This odd carving has an interesting story. He got beheaded once and rather than get a new head the church decided to carve a face out of what was left of his beard.
Naturally the new city was built on the old. Here we look down past the present 1700’s era buildings to an original Roman gate into Bath.
This river is also Avon. But it is a different Avon than the one that flows through Shakespear’s home town of Stratford Upon Avon. Turns out the old name for river is Avon. This bridge was build for a developer who asked the architect to “make the river go away” so he could develop the land that he held on the other side and rent it to Bath tourists.
Here is a pic of the bridge. When you are on it you can’t tell that it is a bridge because of the shops on each side. Very clever. You can cross the river and not even know it is there.
When the society women and men came down to bath they were carried in carts like this one by two men. The streets were muddy, not paved. They were transported home in the same manner. They bathed with all their clothes on. After bathing they were sent home to rest. The bedrooms were often circular shaped so that the cart bearers could turn around close to the bed! And the women had their hair plastered up with horsehair and beeswax and powdered with lead to make it white. The carts roofs all came off to allow for spectacular doo’s.
Yeah, all this really happened.
Magnificent semicircle of homes, built as rentals for upper class in the 1700’s. Now these places sell for over 5 million pounds. That’s 7.5 million dollars. And they sell quickly when they come on the market.
So many interesting homes.
The Roman bath ruins were not discovered until the 1800’s during a street repair. They were excavated until about 1980.
This is what I paid to see. A working Roman drain, still carrying off extra water from the hot springs to the Avon river. Lots of old coins and stones were found in the drain.
Me in the baths.
What a lovely city. That’s Bath Abbey in the background.