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Brief history and Bath's top ten places of interest


A brief history of Bath

The Roman BathsThe Romans developed the present site of Bath soon after they invaded Britain in AD 43. It was a strategic military location, being the place where the Fosseway (a Roman road) crossed the river Avon. The settlement was surrounded by rich farmland and supplies of lead and tin from the nearby Mendip hills. The warm spring must of seemed strange in this cold misty land, locals worshiped the spring and its god Sulis, the Romans linked the spring to Sulis to appease the locals and jointly dedicate the spring to the Roman goddess Minerva. The city of Aquae Sulis was thus founded.

By 1189 Bath receives its first Royal charter and the city is enlarged and a vast abbey on the site of the present building was constructed. Augustinian monks founded Bath's oldest charitable institution, St. John's hospital in 1180 and encouraged the sick and poor to benefit from the healing attributes of the hot springs. Eventually Bath became a city of weavers and a major manufacturing town.

The 18th century brought new vigor to the city of Bath. Apothecaries flourished in Bath as the continued influx of visitors seeking fun, love and cure. Richard Nash the official master of ceremonies set the social standards of the day and Bath became popular with the elite of society. Bath was rebuilt in the classic style from 'Bath stone' the name given to the golden oolithic limestone quarried nearby. Politicians, artist, army officers and the rich frequented Bath.

Bath today is a thriving business,cultural and university city, offering superb shopping, hotel accommodation and NEW internationally renown Thermae Bath Spa.


Top ten places of interest

The Roman Bath museum1. The Roman Baths is a must for any visitor to Bath. Your guide will explain the history of the Baths, its discovery and you will see the Roman plunge pools, heating systems and Roman artifacts.

2. The Museum of Costume and Assembly rooms. The museum is housed in the Assembly rooms completed in 1771. The building is one Bath's finest and houses one of the finest collections of fashionable dress in this country - from the 17th century to Jean Paul Gaultier.

Bath Abbey3. Bath Abbey was began in 1499 and replaced an earlier church. The church took fifteen years to build and is known as the lantern of the west because of its hugh clear glass windows, letting light flood into the nave. The abbey also features a magnificent fan vault.


Thermae Bath Spa4. Thermae Bath Spa is a NEW multi million pound public spa, featuring the New Royal Bath designed by Nicholas Grimshaw and the restored 18th century Hot Bath with super modern facilities. Treaments include body wraps, facials and full body massages.


Royal Crescent, Bath5. No. 1 Royal Crescent is museum giving the visitor an insight into life in 18th century Bath. See the study, drawing rooms and kitchens of this grand town house. The Royal crescent was built from 1767-77 and is regarded as one of Europe's greatest architectural prospects.


6. Pulteney Bridge is extremely rare example of a bridge lined with shops on both sides. The bridge was financed by William Pulteney, whose wife had inherited rural Bathwick on the other side of the river Avon. William could see the potential and employed the famous architect Robert Adam. The bridge is lined with shops, restaurants and tea rooms.

Sally Lunns7. Sally Lunns restaurant. Sally Lunn arrived in England over 300 years ago, she baked a rich round bread known as the Sally Lunn Bun. The bun was the perfect accompaniment for sweet and savory fillings. The building is also one of Baths oldest, you can visit the museum in the basement and see the foundations of the Roman and medieval periods.

8. The Jane Austen Centre is an exhibition telling the story of her life and particularly her life in Bath. Jane Austen lived in Bath and set two of her novels in the city - Northhanger Abbey and Persuasion. Jane Austen was born in 1775, one of eight children. Her six novels remain popular throughout the world. Her timeless classic offer an insight into human nature.

9. Holburne Museum of Art was founded to display the collection of Sir William Holburne, a sailor who spent much of his retirement in Bath. See porcelin, glass, furniture and a famous Italian bronze 'Kneeling Venus' once owned by Louis XIV and paintings by Turner, Gainsborough and Stubbs.

10. Farleigh Hungerford Castle, Nr Bath. Farleigh Hungerford Castle was began in the late 14th century by Sir Thomas Hungerford. The castle now consists two huge ruined towers and a beautiful chapel. This romantic spot also has a spine chilling history of beheadings, murder and witchcraft.

 

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