Following the audio walking tour of Bath entitled “In the footsteps of Jane Austen”, I discovered the many wonders of Bath…Named for the hot springs which percolate up into the heart of the city, Bath has attracted visitors to the curative waters since Roman times. Bath has been named a World Heritage Centre, and her history and culture are a magnet for tourists from all around the globe…
Bath, United Kingdom Bath is a city in the ceremonial county of Somerset in the south west of England. It is situated 97 miles (156 km) west of London.
The baths at Bath were unusual not just for their size, but also for the fact that they used so much hot water. Roman bathing did not normally use much hot water, as this was expensive to produce. Instead Roman bathing was based around the practice of moving through a series of heated rooms culminating in a cold plunge at the end. This sequence might include an opportunity to luxuriate in a hot tub or a small bath of hot water in the caldarium, but it did not involve swimming around in a great hot swimming pool such as that provided at Bath.
The Hot Spring
The circular bath…aka the cold plunge…A cold plunge bath was a feature of many Roman bath houses, but rarely on this scale! Here you could take an invigorating plunge after treatments in the warm and hot rooms – but you probably would not linger! The bath is 1.6 metres deep and on one side has an underwater plinth on which a water feature, probably a fountain, once stood.
The pump room was important in Jane Austen’s day… This was where here brother came to get cured from suspected gout. He drank up to 8 pints and immersed himself in the hot spring…
The Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Bath, commonly known as Bath Abbey, is an Anglican parish church and a former Benedictine monastery in Bath, Somerset, England. Founded in the 7th century, reorganised in the 10th century and rebuilt in the 12th and 16th centuries, it is one of the largest examples of Perpendicular Gothic architecture in the West Country.
The magnificent River Avon and Pulteney Bridge. The word Avon comes from a Welsh word which means river. The bridge is unique since it is one of only four bridges in the world with shops across the full span on both sides. Shops on the bridge include a flower shop, antique map shop, and juice bar.
Royal mineral water hospital…was built for visitors of Bath who cannot afford smarter lodgings. They had to bring a letter from a sponsor and 1 or 2 pounds (for those living in Scotland) which was to be used for their return journey or their funeral expenses if they weren’t so lucky…Patients were treated in the hot pools filled with water from the hot spring…diet consists strictly of Bath water and a dietary biscuit invented by Dr. Oliver, principal physician (Bath Olivers). Today, it is still a hospital, a center for rheumatism and arthritis…
Laura place…can see great pultney st, the longest and widest Georgian street…from 1801-1805 Jane lived in Sydney place…She would have liked to live here but this was too expensive…In Persuasion, the cousins of the main character, “were moving to Laura place and would be living in style”…
Sally Lunn, a young French refugee, arrived in England over 300 years ago. She began to bake a rich , round and generous bread now known as the Sally Lunn Bun. It became very popular in Georgian England as its special taste and lightness allowed it to be enjoyed with either sweet or savoury accompaniments.
Jane Austen Center
The Gravel Walk…This is where in Jane’s Persuasion, a love scene is played between the protagonists..
The Royal Crescent is a residential road of 30 houses, laid out in a crescent. Designed by the architect John Wood the Younger and built between 1767 and 1774, it is among the greatest examples of Georgian architecture to be found in the United Kingdom and is a grade I listed building.Together with his father John Wood, the Elder, John Wood the Younger was interested in occult and masonic symbolism.
The houses in the Crescent are a mixture of tenures — most are privately owned but a substantial minority of the property is owned by a housing association. Many of the houses in the Crescent have been split into flats. The Royal Crescent Hotel occupies the central properties of the Crescent, numbers 15 and 16. Number 1 Royal Crescent is a museum, maintained by the Bath Preservation Trust, which illustrates how wealthy owners of the period might have furnished such a house
The Assembly Rooms formed the hub of fashionable Georgian society in the city. Citizens would gather in the rooms in the evening for balls and other public functions, or simply to play cards. Mothers and chaperones bringing their daughters to Bath for the social season, hoping to marry them off to a suitable husband, would take their charge to such events where, very quickly, one might meet all the eligible men currently in the City.
The Circus. Circus (originally called “the King’s Circus”), which from the air can be observed to be a giant circle and crescent, symbolising the soleil-lune, the sun and moon. The Circus, along with Gay Street and Queens Square, forms a key shape which is also a masonic symbol. Designed by the elder Wood.