Thursday, 7 June 2012

Roman Baths

After finally finding somewhere to sit and have lunch, dry off and rest our achey legs we realised we were right next to our planned afternoon trip to the Roman Baths. I've wanted to bring the children here for ages, and also really wanted to visit myself. History has always been a favourite subject for me, even when I was little and I love learning more with the children. It was so incredibly busy here, I think it was a mix of half term and it being June but I have a feeling this place is always busy because its just so amazing. We were very fortunate that having bought our ticket online and got our ticket from the Fashion Museum earlier we could just walk past the hundred+ people queueing and go straight through! The pools all look so inviting, it would have been great to pop on our swim gear and swim a few laps. The steam rising from the water seemed even more inviting given the horrid weather. We all began the tours with audio tours but to be honest we all found them a bit distracting as there was just too much going off and too much to see! Plus, it was especially hard to stand still in a room full of so many people.

This was the view of the Sacred Spring, hot water rises here at a temperature of 46 degrees and has been doing so for thousands of years!
This was a scale model of how the baths would have looked at the time. Huge!
This temple is one of only two truly classical temples known from Roman Britain. The face in the middle is thought to be the Gorgon's head. A powerful symbol of the goddess Sulis Minerva.
A skeleton who was found near the baths, the condition of the teeth was quite astounding!
The gilt bronze head of the goddess Sulis Minerva. This was found in 1727 and is a very rare find. They think that a statue of her stood next to the scared spring and that she looked out towards the sacred altar.
A collection of engraved gemstones. thought to have been a gift to the gods and rare to find so many together. They were very beautiful.
This was a Roman Stone Mason, who we managed to chat to, he was quite concerned about us when we told him we had come from the North. He thought it would be very savage up here and we would not want the stone decorations on the roof of our villa, that was if we even had one! He let the children touch the stone and feel how soft and smooth it was before telling us that sometimes the Roman women used to put it on their faces as make-up. Cordelia thought this was a great idea!
This was the cold circular plunge pool, which is 1.6 metres deep. It looked very special in the lights with all the coins sparkling at the bottom. Not sure I would have wanted to take a dip in there though, far too cold!
The Great Bath, which looked ever so inviting! The children couldn't resist putting their hands in. Their not really meant too though.....
Statues decorating the roof terrace. Hard to believe at some point all of this was all buried underground!
The water was lovely and warm, despite the outside temperatures!

We had such an amazing day here and even the crowds did not spoil it, although we are used to having places quiet and being able to look around at our own pace. I would love to visit again in the future.




2 comments:

  1. This is SO on our list of places to visit this Summer!! Thanks for giving us a heads up, we shall know exactly what to look out for now, it's really wetted our appetites! x

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  2. Glad to hear it, enjoy! Hope you have better weather too! x

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