Brief Bath History

Bath is a city in south-west England, most famous for its baths fed by three hot springs. The city was first recorded as a Roman spa, though verbal tradition suggests it was known before then. The waters from its spring were considered to be a cure for many afflictions. From Elizabethan to Georgian times it was a resort city for the wealthy. As a result of its popularity during the latter period, the city contains many fine examples of Georgian architecture, particularly The Royal Crescent.
The city has a population of over 90,000 and is a World Heritage Site.

Bath is approximately 15 miles (24 km) southeast of the larger city and port of Bristol, to which it is linked by the A4 road, and is a similar distance south of the M4 motorway. Its railway station, Bath Spa, lies on the Great Western Railway, the main line between Bristol and London.

The Kennet and Avon canal, earlier an important water route to London, has recently been fully restored and leaves the Avon at Bath.

The site of the main spring was treated as a shrine by the Celts, and dedicated to the goddess Sulis, whom the Romans identified with Minerva. However the name Sulis continued to be used after the Roman invasion, leading to the town's Roman name of Aquae Sulis (literally, "the waters of Sulis").

During the Roman occupation of Britain increasingly grand temples and bathing complexes were built, including the Great Bath. Rediscovered gradually from the 18th century onward, they have become one of the city's main attractions. Toward the end of the Roman occupation, the settlement around the baths was given defensive walls.

After Britannia left the Roman Empire urban life declined across the country. Though the great Roman baths at Bath fell into disrepair, there is evidence of some continued use of the hot springs. The Anglo-Saxon name for the place was Baðum, Baðan or Baðon, meaning 'at the baths', from which the present name comes. From its Saxon name comes the theory that Bath is the location of the Battle of Mons Badonicus, where King Arthur led the Britons to victory over the Saxons. Better documented is the Battle of Deorham, in 577, in which Ceawlin of Wessex drove a wedge to the sea and split the Romano-British forces, leading to the fall of Bath soon after.

In 675 Osric, King of the Hwicce, established a monastic house at Bath which probably used the walled area as its precinct. King Offa of Mercia gained this monastery in 781 and rebuilt the church, which was dedicated to St. Peter. Bath had become a royal possession. The old Roman street pattern having been lost, King Alfred laid out the town afresh, leaving its south-eastern quadrant as the abbey precinct.

King William Rufus granted the city to a royal physician, John of Tours, who became Bishop of Wells and Abbot of Bath in 1088, with permission to move the see of Somerset from Wells to Bath. Bishop John therefore became the first Bishop of Bath. He planned and began a much larger church as his cathedral, to which was attached a priory, with the bishop's palace beside it. New baths were built around the three springs.

Later bishops preferred Wells, which regained cathedral status jointly with Bath. By the 15th century Bath Cathedral was badly dilapidated. Oliver King, Bishop of Bath and Wells, decided in 1500 to rebuild it on a smaller scale. The new cathedral was completed just a few years before Bath Priory was dissolved in 1539. Henry VIII considered the cathedral redundant and it was allowed to become derelict, but it was restored as the city's parish church in the Elizabethan period, when the city revived as a spa. The baths were improved and the city began to attract the aristocracy in the bathing seasons. Bath was granted city status in 1590.

There was much rebuilding in the Stuart period, but this was eclipsed by the massive expansion of the city in Georgian times. The old town within the walls was largely rebuilt also. This was a response to the continuing demand for elegant accommodation for the city's fashionable visitors, for whom Bath had become a pleasure resort as well as a spa. The builders John Wood, father and son, laid out the new quarters in rational streets and squares whose identical facades gave an impression of palatial scale and classical decorum. The creamy gold of Bath stone further unified the city. The early 18th century saw Bath acquire its first purpose-built theatre, pump room and assembly rooms. As Master of Ceremonies Beau Nash presided over the city's social life from 1705 until his death in 1761. He drew up a code of behaviour for public entertainments. However the city declined as a fashionable resort in the 19th century.

When Bladud, son of Lud Hudibras, King of Britain, was stricken with leprosy, such was the horror in which the fell disease was held that the young Prince was banished from the Court.
Disguised as a poor peasant, he earned his keep as a swineheard, but soon the pigs became infected with the disease. Deep was Bladud's dismay, until one day he came across a sow, which had been lost for a week, wallowing in a hot spring. To his astonishment the animal was cured!
Bladud immediately plunged into the health-giving waters. It was not long before, restored to health, he returned to the Court.

- Later, he founded at the hot springs a town which has since become the city of Bath.

The first shrine at the site of the springs was built by Celts, and dedicated to the goddess Sulis, whom the Romans identified with Minerva; however, the name Sulis continued to be used after the Roman invasion, leading to the town's Roman name of Aquae Sulis (literally, "the waters of Sulis").
During the Roman occupation of Britain increasingly grand temples and bathing complexes were built, but after the Roman withdrawal these fell into disrepair and were eventually lost due to silting up. They were rediscovered in the 18th century and, as well as being a major archaeological find, they have from that time to the present been one of the city's main attractions, though the water is now considered unsafe for bathing, due to its having passed through the still-functioning lead pipes constructed by the Romans. The Thermae Bath Spa project aims to eventually allow modern-day bathers to experience the waters for themselves.
Beyond Bath, you'll find The Cotswolds in one direction and The Mendips in the other, both are areas of outstanding natural beauty.
Greetings, - my friend - and welcome . .
If you have content to contribute or wish for your hotel, b & b, taxi service or other service to be included, then
- do not hesitate - drop me a line now . . me and let me know.
- Thank you!

The internet is full of marvellous information on practically any subject under the sun, and given enough time and a variety of of search engines and directories, - you'll no doubt be able to find most of it , after visiting hundreds or even thousands of totally irrelevant pages.

The aim of bath4u is to gather in only relevant information, easily accessible from the one site, - saving the need for hundreds of searches.
Information that is relevant to the people of Bath, and information that is relevant to tourist's and others wishing to broaden their knowledge of Bath, be it as a possible holiday destination or for historical or other reasons.

It's my hope that you, and others like you, will be sufficiently inspired by this idea to want to contribute information to the site, information that you'll better placed to bring forward than me, because of your special interest, your hobby, your club or association membership, or simply by virtue of the locality you live in, information that will bring us that little bit closer to utopia : the ultimate tourist brochure for Bath, a lexicon of Bath, the myths and legends of Bath, - the people of Bath and their activities . . .

- go on, join in, - the possibilities are endless and only limited by the bounds of your imagination!

Pump Room Anniversary
Coombe Down Stone Mines

Greeting Cards:
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Holiday Rentals in Somerset advertises over 9,500 privately owned vacation and holiday homes from all over the world. Book direct with the owners for great value!

John Wood the Elder was born 300 years ago in 1704 and died in 1754. In this the anniversary year The Building of Bath Museum steps behind the classical façade to reveal how one man's obsession led to the creation of Georgian Bath.

The Circus, one of Bath's most recognised landmarks, is often thought to be based on the celebrated Colosseum in Rome. It comes as a surprise then to discover that this strange circular building owes more to Stonehenge and the druids than it ever did to classical antiquity and the heathen gods.

In an age when the remains of ancient Greece and Rome were defining the nation's architecture, why did John Wood, creator of England's most famous neo-classical city, look towards druids, freemasonry and God for inspiration?

At the age of 21 John Wood had a vision for Bath. It was an individual and highly personal vision and it became his obsession.
The manifestation of that obsession is the city of Bath as we know it today.

This exhibition investigates the development of this obsession explaining how Wood's extraordinary theories on architecture affected every building he imagined, and combined to form his ideal city.

Park and Ride in the city of Bath

PARK and Ride makes a lot of sense, it’s easy to use, easy on your pocket and easy on the environment.

In Bath there are three Park and Ride services operated by First Group for Bath & North East Somerset Council and one, to the Royal United Hospital, operated by Abus Faresaver for Bath & North East Somerset Council.
These run from 6.15am-8.30pm Monday to Saturday from the Park and Ride sites at Odd Down, Newbridge and Lansdown. There is also a Saturday service which operates from the University of Bath.
For more details visit the website

Places of interest
Roman Baths
Bath Abbey
The Royal Crescent
The Circus
Great Pulteney Street
Pulteney Bridge
American Museum
Prior Park
Thermae Bath Spa
Solsbury Hill
Kennet and Avon Canal
River Avon
St. Catherine's Court
William Herschel Museum
Beckford's Tower
Claverton Pumping Station
Bath Postal Museum
some of the topics we aim to cover on bath4u:
Bath Bed & Breakfast Accommodation Bath and beyond Guesthouse Accommodation Bath and beyond Hotel Accommodation
Bath Selfcatering Accommodation Indian food Takeaways in and around Bath Chinese food Takeaways in and around Bath
Chinese food restaurants Bath & beyond Indian food restaurants in and around Bath Italian food restaurants in and around Bath
Cantonese food restaurants in / around Bath Balti food restaurants - Bath and beyond Thai food restaurants in and around Bath
American food restaurants in / around Bath French food restaurants in and around Bath Food recipes for you to cook at home
Public Houses (Pubs & Inns) in / around Bath Social Clubs in and around Bath Taxi & Private Hire Services in and around Bath
Tourist Information for Bath and beyond Things to do in Bath and beyond Travel Information for Bath and Beyond
Events and Leisure information for Bath area Pictures of Bath and beyond General Interest Info for Bath and beyond
Public transport in and around Bath Cycle hire in and around Bath Car Hire in and around Bath
Museums in and around Bath Walks in and around Bath Railway information for Bath and beyond
- maybe you can help?


A taxi driver dies and goes to heaven and upon reaching the pearly gates he announces his presence to St. Peter, who looks him up in his Big Book. Upon reading the entry for the cabby, St. Peter invites him to grab a silk robe and a golden staff and to proceed into Heaven.

A preacher is next in line behind the cabby and has been watching these proceedings with interest. He announces himself to St. Peter. Upon scanning the preacher's entry in the Big Book, St. Peter furrows his brow and says, "Okay, we'll let you in but take that plain cloth robe and the wooden staff."

The preacher is astonished and replies, "But I am a man of the cloth! You gave that cab driver a golden staff and a silken robe. Surely I rate higher than a cabby!"

St. Peter responded matter-of-factly: "Here we are interested in results. When you preached, people slept; when the cabby drove his taxi, people prayed."
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Bath Thermae Spa Officially Opens
August 7th 2006 !

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