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Title: The Excavations of Roman Baths at Bath
Author: Davis, Charles E.
Language: English
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Re-printed from the _Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire
Archæological Society_, Vol. Viii., Part I.

[Plate V: City of Bath. Plan of Roman Baths.]

Leland, on his visit to Bath in the year 1530, with tolerable fulness
describes the baths, and after completing his description of the
King's Bath goes on to say "Ther goith a sluse out of this Bath and
servid in Tymes past with Water derivid out of it 2 places in Bath
Priorie usid for Bathes: els voide; for in them be no springes;" and
further on he says "The water that goith from the Kinges Bath turnith
a Mylle and after goith into Avon above Bath-bridge."

These two sentences have hitherto been difficult of explanation, but
the excavations, which it has been my good fortune to superintend, and
the discoveries I have made, have fully explained Leland's meaning, at
the same time that I have brought to light the great Roman Bath, which
I purpose describing in detail in this paper, writing only of previous
excavations and those I have conducted in connection with this work,
so far as their description may the more fully render my account
perfect of the Great Bath itself. I desire to confine my paper within
such limits as the space afforded me in this Journal necessarily

Some time during the last century the ruins of a mill wheel were found
to the south of the King's Bath. I have in my excavation discovered
the _mediæval_ sluice that led to this wheel. Leland speaks of "two
places in Bath Priorie used for Bathes els voide."

In a map of Bath preserved in the Sloane Collection of the British
Museum, drawn by William Smith (_Rouge Dragon Pursuivant at Arms_)
a few years previous to 1568,[1] is an open bath immediately to the
south of the Transept of the Abbey called "the mild Bathe."[2] This,
or at any rate what I may consider was the "mild bath," I found in my
explorations beneath the soil at a situation in York Street, connected
with the Hot-water drains, the bath being still provided with a wooden
hatch, and of the dimensions of a good sized room.[3] The other place
mentioned by Leland was discovered in 1755, and this discovery led
the way to the excavations of a great bath (afterwards called Lucas's
Bath), when the eastern wall of the great Hall of the recently found
bath was first laid open, although from its position not having
been properly noted previous to its being covered up, its situation
remained unknown for nearly 130 years.

[Footnote 1: Mr. Peach, in the preface to "the Historic Houses in
Bath," page 5, quotes 1572; but this is the date of the completion of
Mr. Smith's book, the drawings of which occupied many years.]

[Footnote 2: Mr. Smith gives a list of "Wonders in England": 1st. "The
Baths at ye Citty of Bath are accompted one although yet they are not
so wonderfull seeing that ye Sulphur and Brimston in the earth is the
cause thereof but this may pass well enough for one."]

[Footnote 3: Evidently the ruin of a portion of the Roman Thermæ,
repaired in the 12th or 13th century.]

In Dr. Sutherland's "_Attempts to revive Ancient Medical Doctrines_,"
(page 16), _et infra_, he says: "In the year of our Lord 1755[4]
the old Priory or Abbey house was pulled down. In clearing away the
foundations, stone coffins, bones of various animals, and other things
were found. This moved curiosity to search still deeper. Hot mineral
waters gushed forth and interrupted the work. The old Roman sewer
was at last found; the water was drained off. Foundations of regular
buildings were fairly traced." An illustration of these discoveries
is given in Gough's "Camden," and a plan of them was published by Dr.
Lucas and again by Dr. Sutherland (_Pl. V._) copied in 1822 by Dr.
Spry with discoveries to that date (_Pl. VI._), and by Mr. Phelps,
the latter re-published by the Rev. Preb. Scarth in his _Aquæ Solis_,
1864. I have, in part, myself and also when assisted by Mr. T. Irvine
(the architect, under Sir Gilbert Scott, of the restoration of the
Bath Abbey), examined the small portion of these discoveries that
are still left _in situ_. I quote Dr. Sutherland, 1763, p. 17, for
an account. "Assisted by Mr. Wood, architect," Dr. Lucas examined
the ruins as they then appeared. He gives the following description:
"Under the foundations of the Abbey house, full 10ft. deep, appear
traces of a bath, whose dimensions are 43ft. by 34ft. Within and
adjoining to the walls are the remains of twelve pilasters, each
measuring 3ft. 6in. on the front of the plinth by a projection of
2ft. 3in. These pilasters seem to have supported a roof.[5] This bath
stood north and south. To the northward of this room, parted only by
a slender wall with an opening of about 10in. in the middle, adjoined
a semi-circular bath, measuring from east to west 14ft. 4in., and
from the crown of the semi-circle to the partition wall that divides
it from the square bath 18ft. 10in. The roof of this seems to have
been sustained by four pilasters, one in each angle and two at the
springing of the circle. This bath seems to have undergone some
alterations, the base of the semi-circle is filled up to about the
height of 5ft., upon which two small pilasters were set on either
side from the area, between two separate flights of steps into the
semi-circular part which seems to be all that was reserved for a bath.
In this was placed a stone chair 18in. high and 16in. broad. The two
flights of steps were of different dimensions, those to the west were
3ft. 9in. broad, those to the east 4ft. 2in. Each flight consists of
steps 6in. thick, and seem to have been worn by use 3½in. out of the
square. These flights are divided by a stone partition on a level with
the floor. Along this division and along the west side of the area, a
rude channel of about 3in. in depth was cut in the stone. The floor
of this bath seems to be on a level with that of the square bath.
Eastward and westward from the area and stairs of this semi-circular
bath stood an elegant room on each side, sustained by four pilasters.
Separated by a wall stood the _Hypocausta Laconica_, or _Stoves_, to
the eastward. These consisted of two large rooms, each measuring 39ft.
by 22ft. Each had a double floor, one of which lay 1ft. 9in. lower
than the area round the square bath. On this lower floor stand rows
of pillars composed of square bricks of about 1¾in. thick and 9in.
square. These pillars sustain a second floor composed of tiles 2ft.
square and 2in. thick, over which are laid two layers of firm cement
mortar, each about 2in. thick, which compose the upper floor.

[Plate VI: Facsimile of Dr. Sprys' plan published 1822 shewing
discoveries to that date.]

[Footnote 4: Monday, August 18, 1755, Bath. A most valuable Work of
Antiquity has been lately discovered here. Under the foundation of
the Abbey House now taking down, in order to be rebuilt by the Duke
of Kingston, the workmen discovered the foundations of more ancient
buildings, and fell upon some cavities, which gradually led to further
discoveries. There are now fairly laid open, the foundations and
remains of very august Roman baths and sudatories, constructed upon
their elegant plans, with floors suspended upon square-brick pillars,
and surrounded with tubulated bricks, for the equal conveyance of
heat and vapour. Their dimensions are very large, but not yet fully
laid open, and some curious parts of their structure are not yet
explained.--(_Gentleman's Magazine_.)]

[Footnote 5: In the library of the Society of Antiquaries is a drawing
of this bath with an imaginary restoration.]

"To the northward, separated by a wall of 3ft. 11in., stood the other
_Hypocaustum_, with a door of communication. The floor of this is
about 18in. higher than the other. These two rooms are set round with
square-brick tubes of different lengths, from 16in. to 20in. in length
and 6¾in. wide. These flues have two lateral openings of about 2in.
square, 5in. asunder. These open into the vacuum between the two
floors and rise through the walls. The north wall of the last stove
was filled with tubes of a lesser size, placed horizontally and
perpendicularly. The stones and bricks between the pillars bear
evident marks of fire, while the flues are strongly charged with soot,
which plainly points out their uses.

"Heat was communicated to these flues by means of _Praefurnia_. In
the middle of the northern wall of the second stove, the ruins of one
of these furnaces appear. It consists of strong walls of about 16ft.
square, with an opening in the centre of about 3ft. wide, which
terminates conically in the north wall of the stove 2 ft. wide where
part of the broken arch bears evident marks of fire. About the mouth
of the furnace there were scattered pieces of burnt wood, charcoal,
&c., evident proofs of their use.

"On each side of the furnace, adjoining to the wall of the
northernmost stove, is a semi-circular chamber of about 10ft. 4in.
by 9ft. 6in. Their floors are nearly 2ft. 6in. lower than that of the
next stove into which they both open. The pavements are tesselated
with variegated rows of pebbles and red bricks. To the northward of
these there appear ruins of two other square chambers of more ordinary
work." Thus far Lucas.

Dr. Sutherland goes on to say, "Since the time of his (Lucas's)
publication the ground has been further cleared away. There now
appears another semi-circular bath to the southward, of the same
dimensions exactly with the first. What he calls the Great Bath, with
its semi-circular _Hypocausta Laconica_, &c., forms only one wing
of a spacious regular building. From a survey of these, our ruins,
we may, with some certainty, determine the nature of these _Balnea
pensilia_.... The Eastern Vapour Baths are now demolishing in order
to make way for more modern improvements. Whenever the rubbish that
covers the eastern wing of the Roman ruins comes to be removed similar
_Balnea pensilia_ will doubtless be found.

"From each corner of the westernmost side of Lucas's Bath, a base of
68ft., there issues a wall of stone and mortar. These walls I have
traced 6ft. or 8ft. westward under that causeway that leads from the
Churchyard to the Abbey Green. When, as we may suppose, they have run
a length proportionable to the width, they compose a bath which may
indeed be called _Great_, 96ft. by 68ft.

[Plate VII: A Ground Plan of the Antient Roman Bath lately discovered
in the City of Bath, Somersetshire, with a Section of the Eastern

"Adjoining to the inside walls of this central bath, there are bases
of pilasters, as in Lucas's. Between the wall and the bath there
is a corridor paved with hard blue stone 8in. thick.[6] From the
westernmost side of Lucas's bath a subterranean passage has been
traced 24ft., at the end of which was found a leaden cistern, raised
about 3ft. above the pavement, constantly overflowing with hot water.
From this a channel is visible in the pavement, in a line of direction
eastward, conveying the water to Lucas's Bath.... Assisted by Mr.
Palmer, an ingenious builder, I have ventured to exhibit a complete
ground plot of the Roman Baths,[7] a discovery of no less curiosity
than instruction.... This ground plot is exhibited in the plate
annexed (_Pl. V._) as far as the earth is cleared away. The remainder
is supposed and drawen out in dotted lines. The plate exhibits also an
elevation of the section of the wing discovered, with references."[8]

[Footnote 6: A correspondent in the _Bath Chronicle, purporting to be
Richard Mann_, the builder employed under me to excavate the greater
portion of the discoveries, but whose services were dispensed with,
quotes the above as follows: "Adjoining to the inner walls of the
central bath there are bases of Pilasters, as in Lucas's between the
walls and the bath. There is a corridor paved with hard blue stone
eight inches thick." The full-stop being placed at the word "bath,"
instead of before the word "between," gives to the quotation a totally
different meaning from that conveyed by Dr. Sutherland.]

[Footnote 7: _Fac-simile Pl. V._]

[Footnote 8: In the plate the reference describes the bath to be
90ft., but in the text of Sutherland the dimensions are given as 96ft.
which agrees with the scale on the plan.]

Dr. Sutherland published the plan of the bath with this description
having "_drawen_ out in dotted lines" the supposed arrangement of the
baths. To make the account of these discoveries of 1755 complete,
I must explain that the _Hypocausta Laconica_, or stoves, to the
eastward, which he described as each measuring 39ft. by 22ft., were,
I believe, the _tepidarium_ and the _caldarium_. The two semi-circular
recesses, or small rooms, to the north, I should consider were each
a _sudatorium_ if the floors had not been 2ft. 6in. lower than the
adjoining apartment. In the centre was the stove by which the system
was heated (the _praefurnium_). To the north of these, Dr. Sutherland
figures, in dotted lines, three chambers omitted in my plan. Although
I believe he had some authority for giving them, I am somewhat at a
loss to assign a use to these rooms. They might be stoves, as, if
the Romans desired to have a bath artificially heated, this would be
the correct position for the brazen vessels, described somewhat
unintelligibly by Vitruvius, as three in number. If this was the case,
each semi-circular recess just described was a _calda lavatio, balneum
or labrum_. [A similar _labrum_, but of smaller scale, was discovered
at Box, near Bath, last year, and I have discovered on the property of
Mr. Charles I. Elton, F.S.A., M.P. (author of "Origins of History")
a similar one.] The floor being 2ft. 6in. lower than the adjoining
apartment points to this belief. These, I have little doubt, were
those artificially heated baths, and were cased either with lead,
stone, marble, or small white tesseræ, as at Box. To the south of
the _tepidarium_, Dr. Sutherland gives a precisely similar suggested
plan as that to the north, but here again I have not copied him,
believing he had not sufficient data. In all probability here was an
_apodyterium_ (which might or might not be heated with a _hypocaust_)
where the bathers deposited their clothes. Dr. Sutherland thought that
to the east of the discoveries which he described there would be found
probably at some future day "similar _Balnea pensilia_."[9] In opening
the Roman drains I found a branch one at this place, which induces
me to think that a large cold or swimming bath occupied the eastern
wing, the _baptisterium_ or _frigida lavatio_. Still farther eastward
are fragments of Roman buildings which I have seen only in a very
fragmentary way, as no excavations of any extent have been made. I
believe the apartments necessary to complete the system of the modern
Turkish bath, or rather the ancient bath, with the requisite waiting
rooms and corridors, stood there.

[Footnote 9: These baths and adjoining rooms occupied the block
between Church Street and York Street, including Kingston Buildings.]

After these discoveries of the middle of the last century but very
partial excavations were made in proximity to the baths, and those
that were made were never sunk to a depth sufficient to reach the
ruins. The flood of hot water had no drain to carry it off, and was
maintained at such a height in the soil that whenever a sinking was
made, it was impossible without pumping machinery to sufficiently
overcome it. To my discovery of the Roman drain, or rather to
Mr. Irvine's, and the excavating, opening, and reconstructing it
which followed (under my superintendence, at the charges of the
Corporation), enabling me to drain off the hot water from the soil, I
owe the ability to reveal what had been hidden since the destruction
of the city of Bath in the year A.D. 577.[10] The stopping up and
destruction of the drain prevented the water from flowing away, so
that the buildings of the baths were filled with water of a height
until it reached the level of the adjoining land, covering, as a
guardian, the lead and other valuables. Soil then gravitated into the
ruins and thus further assisted in preserving the antiquities, so that
they were altogether hidden from the people who re-built the ruined
city of Bath, and from those who in successive generations succeeded
them. The subterranean "passage traced 24ft." from the western side
of Lucas's bath, "at the end of which was found a leaden cistern,"
was not in any way Roman work, but mediæval, and was formed some time
after the construction of the Abbey house, as an aqueduct for the hot
water with which the soil was saturated. This construction is the
only evidence of an early discovery of this eastward wing of the bath,
indeed the only evidence of mediæval work of any kind in connection
with the baths, except the enclosure of the various springs or wells.
The King's Bath, the Cross, and the Lepers' Bath were simply the wells
or cisterns of the springs which were bathed in to the damage of the
purity of the water, without dressing-rooms of any kind.

[Footnote 10: "But the old municipal independence seems to have
been passing away. The record of the battle in the chronicle of
the conquerors connects the three cities (Bath, Gloucester, and
Cirencester) with three Kings; and from the Celtic names of these
Kings, Conmael, Condidan, or Kyndylan, and Farinmael, we may infer
that the Roman town party, which had once been strong enough to
raise Aurelius to the throne of Britain, was now driven to bow to the
supremacy of native chieftains. It was the forces of these Kings that
met Ceawlin at Deorham, a village which lies northward of Bath, on a
chain of hill overlooking the Severn valley, and whose defeat threw
open the country of the three towns to the West Saxon army."--_Green's
"Making of England,"_ p. 128.]

This concludes the particulars of the important discoveries which we
possess of the last century, which were then correctly believed to be
only portions of still greater baths.[11] In 1799 (or, as I believe,
in 1809, the more correct date) a portion of what has proved to be the
north-west semi-circular _exedra_ of the Great Bath was found, and six
to nine years later a part of the south-west rectangular _exedra_ of
the same bath. The discovery of 1799 (or rather 1809) is shown on the
Rev. Prebendary Scarth's map as being the northern apse of a bath on
the western end of the great bath, as suggested by Dr. Sutherland's
plan and was to correspond with Lucas's Bath. The semi-circular
_exedra_ discovered subsequently to a deed dated Sept. 1808 (therefore
in that year or subsequently) is also figured by the Rev. Prebendary
Scarth, as on the south end of the same western bath and a piece of a
rectangular _exedra_ as the eastern wall of this western bath and the
boundary between it and the Great Bath.

[Footnote 11: As there have appeared in local papers considerable
discussions as to these baths, I quote from one of the letters the
following as being remarkably clear and explanatory:--

"In 1755, Dr. Lucas discovered a Roman bath, east of, and immediately
adjoining, the Great Bath, which is now attracting so much attention.
Lucas's Bath stood north and south--an important fact to bear in mind,
as the great Roman Bath stands east and west--and measured 43ft. by
34ft. But this was not all. 'To the north of this room,' he says,
'parted only by a slender wall, adjoined a semi-circular bath,
measuring from east to west, 14ft. 4in.' After the publication of
Lucas's 'Essay on Waters,' the ground was further cleared away,
and there appeared another semi-circular bath to the south, of the
same dimensions as that to the north. The extreme length of Lucas's
bath--including the N. and S. Baths, exclusive of the central
semi-circular recesses--would be, roughly speaking 69ft.; and this
fact should be carefully borne in mind, as we shall see presently to
what use it was turned. Dr. Lucas's discoveries were pushed one stage
further by Dr. Sutherland, who in his work entitled 'Attempts to
revive Ancient Medical Doctrines' (1763) clearly indicates (_Pl. V._)
that he was on the track of another bath, the Great Roman Bath, in
fact, with which we are now so familiar. His words are as follows:
'From each, corner of the westernmost side of Lucas's Bath, a base
of 68ft., there issues a wall of stone and mortar. These walls I have
traced six or eight feet westward under that causeway, which leads
from the Churchyard to the Abbey Green. When, as we may suppose,
they have run a length proportionable to their width, they compose
a bath which may indeed be called great, 96ft. by 68ft.... From the
westernmost side of Lucas's Bath a subterraneous passage has been
traced 24ft., at the end of which was found a leaden cistern, raised
about 3ft. above the pavement, constantly overflowing with hot water.
From this a channel is visible in the pavement, in a line of direction
eastward, conveying the water to Lucas's Bath' (pp. 20-21). Thus then
in 1763 (1) the north and south walls of the great Roman Bath had been
traced 6ft. or 8ft. west of Lucas's Bath. (2) Furthermore, starting
from the centre of the west side of Lucas's Bath, a line had been
traced to the east steps of the great Roman Bath. These are plain
historical facts, open to everyone who will look into the plans of our
baths, as given by Sutherland in 1763, and by Prebendary Scarth in
his 'Aquæ Solis' in 1864. But our City Architect has been charged with
suppressing these facts for his own glorification. Now, Sir, I think
no unprejudiced man, who has heard Major Davis's addresses and read
his books, can justly bring this charge. If I mistake not, he fairly
stated the case in 1880, both in his address before the Society of
Antiquaries, and in his lecture at the Bath Literary Institution.
He has most certainly concealed nothing in his published works 'The
Bathes of Bathe's Ayde' and 'Guide to the Roman Baths.' In the former
work he says (p. 81), 'Dr. Sutherland indicates a large bath westward
of that which had been discovered in his time, in fact there can be
little doubt that the steps at the eastward end of a great bath had
then been found;' in the latter, whilst alluding to the published
plans of Sutherland, he says (p. 10), 'These plans indicate a large
bath westward of that discovered in 1754 (? 1755), in fact the
eastward steps of a bath had then been found.' Here then is a full and
candid admission of all the facts known about the great Roman Bath in
the middle of the last century; and this anyone can see by reference
to the map in Prebendary Scarth's 'Aquæ Solis'--the diagram (copied
from Spry) there being almost similar to Sutherland's conjectural
plan of the baths, except that the section of Lucas's Bath, correctly
represented in Sutherland's map is figured upside-down by Spry and
Scarth. It is quite clear what Sutherland knew of the great Roman
Bath; it is equally clear that when he proceeded, on the strength of
his very limited observations, to draw a conjectural plan of the whole
bath, he fell into absolute errors, such as, commonly enough, spring
out of hasty generalisations based on scanty data. Thus, he gives
the dimensions of the enclosure of the great bath as 96ft. by 68ft.;
whereas, as a matter of fact, they are 111ft. by 68ft. How is this
discrepancy to be explained? 'A Citizen' in your last weekly issue,
says 'The alleged discrepancies in the measurements, which Mr. Davis
has used to prove his case, are but the differentiations of the
external measurements with the sinuous subterranean windings.' These
are indeed brave words, indulged in rather to diminish Major Davis
credit than to rescue Sutherland; but a truer explanation of the
real discrepancies stares any man in the face who will open Dr.
Sutherland's work. There is no occasion to be wise beyond what
is written: 'When, as we may suppose, they have run a length
proportionable to their width, they compose a bath, which may indeed
be called great, 96ft. by 68ft.' The fact is, Sutherland supposed that
the dimensions of the great Roman Bath would observe the same relative
proportions as Lucas's Bath. The room of Lucas's Bath, let it be
remembered, was 43ft. by 34ft., or rather 30ft. 6in. from the face of
the pilasters. In other words, the length was equal to the diagonal
of the square of the base. Then, having observed that the base of
the room of the great Roman Bath--formed by the length of Lucas's
Bath--was 68ft., Sutherland assumed that its length also would be
equal to the diagonal of the square of base, namely 96ft. This patent
error, assuming that the unknown would have a relative correspondence
with the known quantities, was the fruitful source of many more. (1)
The dimensions of the outer rectangular area formed by the room of the
great Roman Bath being false, the dimensions of the inner rectangular
area formed by the water surface of the bath were necessarily false
also. (2) Steps were observed at one end only of the water surface of
Lucas's Bath; therefore it was inferred that steps would be found at
one end only of the water surface of the great bath, the eastern end
as figured in the maps of 1763 and 1864, whereas we now know that
steps run all round. (3) The _exedrae_ at the back of the _schola_
having no existence in Lucas's Bath, were omitted from the conjectural
plan of the great Roman Bath. (4) Lucas's Bath being a plain hall
without piers, Sutherland assumed the same form for the hall of the
great Roman Bath, and altogether omitted the arcades that divide
it into three aisles. (5) Not to dwell on other errors built on the
baseless fabric of conjecture, it is evident that Sutherland imagined
a system of baths existed west of the great Roman Bath similar in
all respects to that known to exist east of the great Roman Bath.
But here, again, theory has been upset by facts. And now is a fitting
opportunity to draw attention to what has been actually discovered
west of the great Roman Bath, namely, the octagon Roman Well, which
I should be disposed to consider Major Davis's greatest discovery,
though I observe that hostile critics take no notice of this, possibly
because it is beyond the region of dispute. If any one, able to point
what he reads, still believes that the great Roman Bath was ever
practically opened up in the last century I would refer him to Mr.
Moore's able and suggestive paper, entitled 'Organisms from the
recently discovered Roman Baths in Bath,' read to the members of the
Bath Microscopical Society, in May, 1883. Once more I insist that we
must clearly separate what Sutherland knew from what he conjectured.
Indeed, Sutherland himself fairly draws the distinctions. On page 21
he says, 'This ground plot is exhibited in the plate annexed, as far
as the earth is cleared away. The remainder is supposed, and drawn
out in dotted lines.' These dotted lines represent a vast _terra
incognita_ covering, practically, the whole of the ground recently
opened up. That the existence of the great Roman Bath has been
transferred from the region of conjecture to the region of fact we owe
entirely to the enthusiasm and unwearied zeal of Major Davis, and no
fair mind can deny him the credit of being the practical discoverer of
the great Roman Bath. More credit than this he has never claimed; less
than this only the churlish and envious will grudge him."]

All these fragments I have lately proved to be portions of the great
Roman Bath (_Plates VII. and VIII._), and being within instead of
without that building. The Rev. Prebendary Scarth omits altogether to
figure the southern rectangular _exedra_, found at the same time as
the last named discovery. He also omits the discoveries made in 1809
(?) beneath the houses at the north-western end of York Street. In
1790 very valuable discoveries were made in digging the foundation of
the present Pump Room. Many writers have treated of them and expressed
opinions as to the character of the work and the meaning of the
design, and Mr. Scharf, in _Archæologia_, Vol. XXXVI., has done ample
justice to these most interesting vestiges: They have been described
by Pownall, Lysons, Warner, Collins, Scharf, Tite, and Scarth,
as being portions of a Temple of the usual type, dedicated to Sul
Minerva. Whitaker, in a review of Warner's History of Bath, printed
in the _Anti-Jacobin_, Vol. X., 1801, differs from all these writers,
although believing the remains to be a portion of a temple, and
thought they were a part of a building of the form of "_a rotunda_,"
as the Pantheon. "The _Pantheon_ of Minerva _Medica_, an agnomen very
similar in allusiveness to our prænomen _of Sulinis_, for Minerva is
noticed expressly by Ruius and Victor in their short notes concerning
the structures of Rome, as then standing in the Esquiline quarter. The
form of a Pantheon is made out by the multiplicity of niches,... and
such, we believe, was our own Temple of Minerva at Bath." It would
occupy too much space were I to attempt to add to this paper my views
of this discovery, but I may briefly say, that I am satisfied that
they were not the remains of a Temple, but a portion of the central
Portico and grand Vestibule of the Baths. I have not gone fully into
the reasons that induced Whitaker to believe that the discoveries
showed that the building was a Rotunda, but it is curious that he
should have thought they had a similarity to the Pantheon at Rome,
which antiquaries since his time have proved was not 'built for a
temple, but that it was an entrance hall or vestibule of the Baths of
Agrippa, although it is doubtful if the Rotunda was built at the same
time as the Portico, which was, without doubt, erected B.C. 27.

The grand Roman enclosure of the Hot well (_Pl. VII[12]_) (which I
have lately discovered and excavated, beneath the King's Bath, on the
south of this principal Portico) is again utilised, and forms a tank
for the mineral water, from which are fed the baths and fountains
with water, pure as it rises from "depths unknown," and secured from
any possibility of contamination in its passage, through the newly
discovered water ducts and drains of the Romans.

[Footnote 12: Pl. VII. gives a correct plan of former discoveries
as far as I have been able to ascertain, and these I have made up to
April 19th, 1884.]

In 1871, whilst making some necessary excavation to remedy a leak from
the King's Bath that apparently ran beneath Abbey Passage, I found
that the hot water, that was reached through layers of mud, Roman
tiles, building materials, and mixed soil, was one and the same with
the hot water of the Kingston Bath that then occupied the site of the
Bath called Lucas's Bath, discovered in 1755; and the levels were
the same. I pumped out this water with powerful pumps, emptying by so
doing the Kingston Baths. This enabled me to sink to a depth of 20ft.,
passing in so doing a flight of four steps at the point (A) on the
plan (_Pl. VIII._), to the bottom of a bath which was coated with
lead.[13] Being compelled by the then owner of the Kingston Baths
to discontinue pumping, I was obliged to abandon my work; and having
little hope that I should ever be allowed to recommence it, I removed
a portion of the lead, which proved to be a thickness of about 30lbs.
to the foot, placed on a layer of brick concrete 2in. to 2¼in. thick,
and this again on a layer of freestone 12in., or rather a Roman foot
11-5/8in. in thickness, which was again bedded on rough stonework,
the depth of which I could not ascertain. Fortunately I did not again
fill in the soil, but arched it in, building walls of masonry to keep
it in position. The Corporation having obtained possession of the hot
water supplying the Kingston Baths, I should rather say, the right to
the water that leaked from the King's Springs, I again drained off
the water, maintaining it at a low level by a laborious excavation
and re-construction of the Roman drain which was conducted at great
expense for two or three years. This drain I followed several hundred
feet until it reached the great well previously mentioned, making
various and important discoveries; but, as I have already read a paper
on this subject before the Society of Antiquaries of London, which
will shortly be in the press, I will not repeat it here, but avail
myself of the space allotted me in the Transactions of this Society
for an account of the Great Bath, which I have, in great part, laid
bare, soliciting a pardon if the account is somewhat tedious.

[Footnote 13: The water, on ceasing pumping, rose to a height above
the lead of 7ft. 6in.]

The bath, placed in a great hall 110ft. 4½in. long by 68ft. 5in. wide,
is about 6ft. 8in. deep. The bottom, 73ft. 2in. by 29ft. 6in.[14] is
formed as described in the last page.[15]

[Footnote 14: The dimensions must not be taken to be quite correct in
all cases, as there are discrepancies and inaccuracies in the building
that prevent measurements being always reliable.]

[Footnote 15: This bath is drawn to a large scale in Pl. VIII.]

The lead in sheets (of about 10ft. by 5ft. square) was turned up at
the edges and _burnt_, not soldered together, but these joints are in
many cases now imperfect. This well secured bottom, or floor, appears
to have been placed in position, rather to keep the hot water from
ascending into the bath from the springs beneath than to make the
bath water-tight. Enclosing the bath all round the four sides are six
steps, the sixth landing the bather on the _Schola_, or platform. The
riser of the bottom steps varies in depth from 15in. to 11in., with a
tread of 14in., the next riser is 14in. with a tread of 11in., as also
is the next step and the one following. The step above has a rise of
12in., and a tread of 14in. This step was scarcely covered with water,
but it is evident the water flowed over it when bathers agitated it.
The riser or the step above, 10in. to 12in., completes the flight and
helped to keep the water within proper bounds, giving a total depth of
6ft. 8in. to the bath, and from 5ft. 9in. to 5ft. 11in. for the water.
These steps are quite devoid of lead (except, in places, the riser
of the lower step and at the north-west corner), and it is not clear
whether they had at any time such a covering, although I am inclined
to think so, as it evidently went beneath the piers and under the
central pedestal. At the bottom step, in the north-east corner, was a
bronze sluice. The frame of this sluice, with an opening of 13in. by
12in., I found in position when I excavated my way up the drain, but
I was obliged to remove it in order to force my way into the bath. It
has not been replaced, but is preserved in the Pump Room, and weighs
more than 1 cwt. 2 qrs. An overflow was provided, immediately above
the hatchway, by a grating 15in. wide that was doubtless of bronze
also, but it had been removed, the stud-holes in the stones alone
remaining.[16] The extreme surface of the water measured 82ft. 10in.
by 40ft. 11in. and was a parallelogram, except that the north-western
angle was cut off by the steps being carried obliquely in three tiers
from the bottom a length of 7ft. at an angle of 39° with the western
end. Resting on the platform, formed by these three steps, is a
quarter circle pedestal,[17] on which stands a large stone 6ft. 8in.
long and 9in. thick, over-hanging its base, and presenting a concave
line towards the bath with an _ovolo_ section in its thickness. This
stone spans a large channel 2ft. 3in. wide, within which is fitted a
very thick lead pipe, gradually narrowed _horizontally_ and turned
up under the _ovolo_ concave stone. Through this aperture the mineral
water was thrown into the bath in a sort of spray, so that it might be
cooled in its passage. A deposit from the water is incrusted over the
stone and pipe several inches in thickness, until the petrification
entirely stopped the flow of water, which was then compelled to flow
_over_ instead of under the stone.[18] The water was conducted a
distance of 38ft. in the thickness of the lower pavement (which I
shall presently describe) of the _Schola_, the stone being removed a
width of 2ft., the bed being concreted. On this was laid a lead pipe
which filled the whole orifice, but, unfortunately, a length of 25ft.
of it has been removed. This conduit takes a diagonal direction, and
leads direct to the north-west angle of the hall, turning beneath a
large doorway in the western wall, when it again resumes its original
direction (the pipe, where perfect, is 1ft. 9in. by 7in. deep), as far
as the outer surface of the wall of the octagon well. At this point
the wall of the well is not original work, and the pipe is cut off.
I have no doubt that it was at one time carried up vertically until
it reached the level of the surface of the water of the well, which
was about 2ft. 6in. higher at the least, thus giving a sufficient
elevation to the "spray" into the bath. Another bronze hatchway, which
must have been here, has been stolen in mediaeval times, its having
been less than 2ft. below the bottom of the King's Bath making it
accessible, whilst the 25ft. length of the lead pipe beneath the
_schola_ must have been stolen much earlier, and in all probability on
the destruction of the baths in the sixth century. In addition to the
arrangement for the supply of mineral water to the baths, which must
have been capable of affording a flow of water, very nearly, if not
exceeding, the yield of the spring, there was also another, which I
have every reason to think was for the delivery of cold water, and
conveyed in a lead tubular pipe of 2¼in. in diameter. A length of
25ft. 6in. of this pipe, in its original position, has been found and
laid bare. It is made with a roll along the top, and burnt, as was
usual before the invention of "drawn pipes." This pipe is particularly
interesting as there are also in it two soldered joints at intervals
of 9ft. in the method of making which we have clearly not improved
on the work of our Roman predecessors. This pipe starts from the same
point in the north-west angle of the hall as the other supply, and is
sunk in the lower pavement of the _schola_, which (wanting the pipe)
is continued to the centre of the north side of the bath, where
stands a stone pedestal 3ft. 3in. long, 1ft. 6in. wide, and 2ft. 6in.
high. This pedestal has small vertical rails, or balusters, at the
angles and on the shorter sides, and that towards the bath has some
appearance of having once had a tablet of either bronze or marble
inserted in it. At the top is a circular hole 3½in. in diameter,
through which the pipe previously mentioned must have passed. The
upper portion of this pedestal is sculptured, and much mutilated, and
appears to me to be the drapery covering the feet of a figure that has
perished. It is true that the work bears some resemblance to a small
recumbent figure; but if so it is not worthy of the name of sculpture,
as it is in the worst taste, and altogether out of keeping with the
architecture or the other sculpture we have found.[19] There are
several grooves in the _schola_ for branches of this pipe: 1st. The
continuation of it to the northern semi-circular bath of 1755. 2nd.
From the first soldered joint to baths on the north of the Great Bath.
3rd. Along the western end of the latter to baths on the south, and
along the _schola_ to the south circular bath of Lucas's. Beneath the
mutilated sculpture is a second pedestal, or plinth, perfectly plain,
with the upper surface sunk to a level corresponding with a similar
indentation on the third step. Within this must have stood a marble on
bronze sarcophagus, the base of which was 6ft. 9in. long by 2ft. 5in.
wide. The water flowing through the aperture previously described
would run into the sarcophagus (I use the word in its modern sense)
and from it into the bath. This water was not poured in sufficient
volume to perceptibly cool the bath, but was provided for the
thirst of the bathers. In the modern baths of Bath there is no such

[Footnote 16: The construction of the steps to the baths deserves
remark (some of the stones being 10ft. long). The depth of the riser
to the steps that were beneath the water is unusually deep, and the
treads narrow. This is compensated by the increased buoyancy of a
human body when immersed, or partially immersed, in water. The steps
have, on the contrary, a shallower rise and a wider tread when they
approach the top. The next notable point is the formation of the tread
of the upper flooded step. This is grooved by a somewhat circular
sinking, from 4 to 5in. wide, immediately against the riser of the
topmost step. Everyone frequenting a public bath must have noticed the
dashing of the water against the wall or upper step, and the nuisance
created from the breaking of the water against it. The grooving would
remedy, I believe, this annoyance, as the little waves of water would
be made to take a curved form before reaching the step; consequently
the water would fall back into the bath instead of dashing over the
surrounding platform. And in the ends of every upper step but one, and
on the steps lower down, have been square sockets, cut in the stone
and filled up again with pieces of stone. These mark the position of
balusters to a hand-rail for the use of bathers that were removed some
time previous to the abandonment of the baths, and the stones were
inserted. These hand-rails were doubtless of bronze, and therefore of

[Footnote 17: A statue of some size doubtless stood on this pedestal.]

[Footnote 18: This deposit must, from the thickness, have taken
several years to form, and the fact of its being of precisely the
same character as the present deposit from the mineral spring is an
evidence of the unchanging nature of the water.]

[Footnote 19: With reference to the sculpture, one piece, of debased
character, has been found--a Minerva with a breast-plate, helmet, and
shield in _alto relievo_ within a niche.]

The hall enclosing the bath I have already spoken of as 110ft. 4½in.
long by 68ft. 5in. wide. It has been completely thrown open since
this paper was read at the British and Gloucestershire Archæological
Society, in 1884. These excavations are open to the sky, excepting on
the east end (over which Abbey Street, at a height of 23ft. is carried
on a viaduct, which I have erected).[20] The platform, or _schola_,
surrounding the bath (measuring the original surface of the upper
floor) is 13ft. 9in. wide on the four sides. This platform was formed
by a layer of large freestone 9in. to 10in. thick, laid on the level
of the top step but one, on a solid bed of concrete. Above this was
another layer of concrete, and possibly on this, when the baths were
first erected, a mosaic of tesseræ; but that, if it ever was there,
has all disappeared, and its place has been supplied with paving,
mostly of freestone also, of inferior thickness to the lower paving.
Very little of this remains, and what there is is much fractured and
worn; indeed not only is this paving much worn, but the lower paving
also where the traffic was the greatest. I have given in the plan
(_Pl. VIII._) almost every detail of these floors, and shall speak
of them again further on. The general appearance of the place is
symmetrical, but there are remarkable variations and inaccuracies
that point to the fact that the juxta-position of this bath with
other buildings, of which we have at present no knowledge, must have
rendered these variations necessary, ultimately interfering with the
completion, architecturally, of the building.

[Footnote 20: The house over the bath having been purchased by
the Corporation, the Antiquities Committee (of which Mr. Murch was
chairman) with a liberal subscription from the Society of Antiquaries,
the Duke of Cleveland, and many noblemen and gentlemen of Bath and the
neighbourhood, bore the expense of the removal of the soil from the
bath and the general opening out of the rains, the arches beneath the
Poor Law Office and the Viaduct supporting Abbey Street.]

On either side, north and south, are three recesses, or _exedrae_,
two of which are circular and one (the centre) rectangular. The south
rectangular one is 17ft. wide by 7ft. deep; the north one is nearly
a foot wider, and one foot less in depth. Greater variations exist
in the circular recesses; for, commencing in the western one, on the
south side, the width is 17ft. 3in., and the depth 7ft. 6in.; the
eastern one is 14ft. 3in. wide, and 6ft. 9in. deep; the _exedrae
vis-a-vis_ on the north is 17ft. 3in. wide, and 8ft. 4in. deep; the
remaining one, to the west, is 17ft. wide, and 7ft. deep. I give these
dimensions irrespective entirely of the pilasters which are attached
to the walls on either side the reveil of the recesses, and in the
rectangular recesses in the enclosing angles also. Piers are now
standing on the margin of the bath, dividing the north and south
sides each into seven bays. These piers are built with solid block
freestone, but as there are continuous vertical joints on either side
of the central division of each pier, it is clear that an alteration
was made in the design either previous to its entire completion or

I will endeavour to describe the bath as originally designed. Along
the margin of the bath, north and south, stood six piers, equally
divided (about 14ft. apart), as far as the length of the bath, but
allowing a lesser distance from the attached pilaster at either end.
These piers are cut out of a block (in plan, 2ft. 10½in. from east to
west by 2ft. 8in. from north to south), so as to form a pilaster of
three inches projection on either face. As the original pilasters on
the north and south walls do not correspond with these piers, I am led
to conclude that the _schola_ and _exedrae_, north and south, were
not vaulted at first, and were the only portion of the hall that was
roofed, and that the roof was only of timber, supported by an arcade,
the arches not exceeding 17ft. in height, and that the eaves of the
roof of about 22ft. in height dipped towards the bath. This was a
very usual arrangement in the _Atrium_ of a Roman house with the
_impluvium_ in the centre. A _crypto porticus_ would thus be formed
on the two longer sides of the bath, but the _schola_ on the east
and west ends was open to the sky. Practical experience, either on
the completion of this plan, or previously to its entire execution,
led to its abandonment. At any rate a roof over the whole was found
essential to the comforts of the bathers. The piers were accordingly
strengthened. Pilasters were erected, projecting 2ft. 9m. into the
bath, with smaller pilasters on the other side projecting on the
_schola_, 1ft. 4in. by 1ft. 11in. wide; and _vis-a-vis_ to these
pilasters corresponding ones were affixed to the side walls.
Unfortunately this brought into prominence the irregularity of the
size and position of the _exedrae_, and the pilasters were affixed
correctly with reference to the arcade, as was absolutely necessary,
but more or less trespassing on the width of the opening of these
recesses, and notched into the original pilasters.

None of the piers, or pilasters, at present exist to a height
exceeding 6ft. to 7ft. The base is a rude form of the Attic base;
and we have found several fragments of the capital, or impost, of the
smaller pilasters, from, which the arches sprang, but I have not been
so fortunate as to recognise any of the larger capitals, and but few
fragments of the cornices, and but one piece that I can identify as
the frieze 1ft. 6in. deep by 2ft. 4in. long, on which are 5 incised
letters 6¼in. long S SIL. The _schola_ was then arched in north and
south, and the bath spanned by an arch. The vaulting that spanned the
side arcades, and the centre (where the abutment was not sufficient
for arches formed in the ordinary way of tiles or stone), were built
of brick boxes, open at the sides, and wedge-shaped, 1ft. long, 4¾in.
thick, and 7¾in. wide at the wider end, set in the usual mortar, a
greater or less number of rings of these boxes being used according to
the span. These arches were made out by an extra quantity of concrete
on the under side for decoration, and on the upper in the case of the
great arch, so as to form a roof, the well-known roll and flat Italian
tiles being embedded in the mortar. Many and large fragments of
this roof were found lying on the deposit that had partially filled
the ruins previous to the fall of the roof, and are still carefully
preserved. A large fragment, 18ft. long by about 3ft. wide, and 1ft.
9in. thick, that has slipped down, as it were, from the western end,
in the position in which it was discovered, was formed of solid tiles,
with an arch of tiles 1ft. 8in. long,[21] the roof having sufficient
abutment on this side for a solid construction.[22] This arch gives
the form of the window that lighted the bath on the western end.

[Footnote 21: The arches in the adjoining apartment west of this were
built of a sort of a tufa.]

[Footnote 22: On the falling of the roof one of the piers was thrust
out of the perpendicular, the upper half toppling over, and the lower
would have again returned to its original position had a stone not
fallen into the vertical joint, catching the pilaster as a wedge.
The pier is still fixed out of the perpendicular by the stone in the

The vaulting of the side aisles, or rather that over the _schola_,
was arched from pier to pier longitudinally and transversely, the
quadrangular spaces being in all probability simply groined; but
a fragment of box tiles found almost leads one to think that these
spaces were vaulted by a domical vault, springing either from
pendentives in the angles of the vaults, more common in later work,
or from a slight cornice on a level with the apex of the arches. The
vault, if there was one, over the semi-circular _exedrae_ must have
been hemispherical. From the number of roofing tiles of local stone,
shaped into hexagons, found, I think these arcades were roofed in
with them, placed overlapping each other, giving a very good effect.
Similar tiles were dug up at Wroxeter, and I have found slates of the
same shape in the Roman villa I have been excavating for Mr. Chas. I.
Elton, F.S.A., M.P., at Whitestaunton Manor. The form of these slates
deserves copying; a roof covered by them is far lighter than that of
rectangular slabs and more picturesque. The walls on the sides towards
the hall, and externally, so far as I have been able to ascertain, are
covered with the usual red plaster, shewing that they were internal
walls; but from a piece of dentilled, or rather blocked, cornice,
which fits the curve of one of the _exedrae_, I believe the walls were
carried up on the north and south above the roofs of the adjoining
rooms and corridors of the baths, so that they formed a feature in the
elevation and afforded a broken skyline to the composition. The vault
over the centre rose considerably above these walls, a portion of the
centre of which may have been partially open for the emission of steam
and the admission of light. Some square blocks of lead, that were the
yotting of bars of metal, rather favour this idea, and suggest that
these metal bars were a portion of the machinery by which a brazen
shield (_clipeus_) was suspended, or secured, so that by raising
or lowering it the temperature of the hall might be regulated as
described by Vitruvius. In the excavations we found an _ante-fixa_
that must have fallen from some portion of the roof. It appears to
be intended for a lion, but it is much broken.

I have prepared a sketch section of the bath (which I hope
to communicate on a future occasion), transversely and a part
longitudinally, in order that a description may the more readily be
understood, adopting, in my restoration, the established rules of
proportion of Classical architecture, which may, more or less, have
been strictly adhered to when the baths were built; indeed, in the
best specimens of Roman work a licence was given to the architect
as to detail and proportion, that was refused him on the Classical
revival. The pilasters of these baths spring, as I have said before,
from an Attic base, of somewhat coarse proportions, 14in. high.[23]
The attached pilasters that supported the arcade that was carried
longitudinally along the bath are without a base; they must have been,
within a few inches, more or less, not lower than 10ft. in height,
including the impost moulding, of which there are fragments. The
arches springing from them would be about 14ft. wide. I have not
been able to find any fragments of the archivolt. The pilasters that
supported the arches which crossed the _schola_ have bases similar to
the larger pilasters. I can hardly speak positively of their elevation
or that of the arches, but I am inclined to think the height of the
impost moulding was raised, so that the arch, although a smaller span,
was the same in height as the longitudinal arches.

[Footnote 23: The bases of the columns found, on the contrary, are
most carefully designed and of most delicate proportions, which appear
to justify the belief that the bases of the pilasters were never
completely _worked_, or that they were coated with plaster and
decorated as in the western bath, now being excavated.]

The great pilasters, fronting the bath, stand on plain pedestals,
breaking forward into the water, on which rested the Attic base, the
shaft with Doric (?) capital rising 18ft. above. A complete cornice,
the architrave (which we have) and frieze, gave an additional height
of nearly 5ft. This cornice ran over the arcade horizontally, but
breaking forward the projection of the pilasters about 2ft. 7in. Over
this cornice, I conclude, were semi-circular openings, of the same
span as the arch beneath, with an architrave of 5 in. to 6 in. A
circular vault crossed the bath from pilaster to pilaster, groined
with the semi-circular arches just mentioned. Light may have been
admitted divisionally in the centre of this great vault, as I
previously mentioned, as well, as by the semi-circular arches in the
"_clear storey_." The extreme height from the floor of the _schola_ to
the under side of the vaulting may have been as much as 23ft., whilst
the height of the central vault above the floor of the bath could
not, I estimate, have been less than 48ft. 2in., exceeding by 5ft.
the height of the famous Ball Rooms of the Bath Assembly Rooms, and by
14ft. that of the Grand Pump Room.

Many architectural fragments have been found during the excavations
of the Great Bath, several portions of columns 2ft. 6in. diameter
at base, and several sections of Corinthian foliage with the volute
of a capital, of unusually artistic and powerful work; some smaller
columns, a fluted shaft, and a Composite capital of debased character;
but the four most remarkable fragments are pieces carved on both sides
out of blocks about 1ft. 9in. thick, by 1ft. 6in. high. They are each
from 2ft. 6in. to 2ft. 9in. long, and are curved, the chord being
about 1-9/16in., in a length of 2ft. 6in. The first fragment is a
cornice, or impost, carved on both sides, in three tiers: the upper,
a _cima_ with a leaf; the middle division, a Greek fret, not quite
similar on each side the stone, and below is a running ornament. The
cornice does not project sufficiently to be the cornice of a building,
and, as it is decorated on either side, it could not have been
intended for a string-course, as none of the walls are so thin as
these stones, although I at first thought it might belong to one of
the semi-circular _exedrae_. The curve is struck with a shorter radius
than even the smallest recess. I think it is the capping of the back
of one of the semi-circular stone seats, called by the later Romans
a _stibadium_. If this formed the seat in the north-western recess,
there would be ample room behind it (3ft. 9in.) to pass by. The next
fragment must have been fixed beneath this or a similar capping, and
is also carved on each side; the convex side having an adaptation of
the well-known honeysuckle fairly drawn, whilst the convex side of it,
with the exception of a floriated panelled pilaster in the centre, is
the work of an accomplished sculptor. On the right of this pilaster,
slightly recessed to admit of relief, is the naked right thigh and
leg of a figure that must have stood 1ft. 6in. high. Although only
a fragment, this is a most charming piece of work, the action and
anatomy of the limb being perfect. On the left side is a similar
panel, a headless draped figure, with feet bare, holding a circular
shield which rests on the thigh, whilst the limb is bent as if
ascending a rock that is slightly indicated. On the third fragment the
honeysuckle pattern is on the concave side, whilst the sculpture is
on the convex, the arc of which corresponds with the last described.
On this there are two niches only, and the figures are much more
mutilated. The left figure has a flowing mantle, the only leg
remaining being bare from the thigh downwards; the foot and the head
are gone. The figure on the right is fully draped, the head is lost,
and the right hand much mutilated; a musical instrument, like a
guitar,[24] or rather a mandolin, rests against the left breast, held
in position by the left hand. The fourth fragment has the honeysuckle
on both sides, with the flower well carved on one of them. It is a
great pity that so little of this superb work is left, and that what
there is should be so mutilated.[25]

[Footnote 24: Professor Middleton considers this a cornucopia.]

[Footnote 25: A small drawing of these pieces I shall also on a future
occasion communicate.]

This account of the Great Bath will, I hope, be sufficiently complete
if I describe the entrances and conclude with a few particulars of the
pavement (although many discoveries of considerable interest might be
made, I have no doubt, in the latter), omitting a detailed examination
as being tedious.

I believe there were five entrances to this bath, two of which
remain. In the western wall, on the south, is one leading from other
apartments (a hypocaust, hall and bath), which I shall on a future
occasion describe. It is 4ft. 3in. wide. Double doors and hinges
have been inserted in this doorway, and the base and a portion of a
pilaster cut away most barbarously to receive them. On the north,
on the same wall, and fronting the northern _schola_, is a doorway
similar to the last, which has been walled up in Roman times, the wall
which closed it being covered with the red plaster that covers all
the work not being faced freestone. A third doorway, similar in every
respect, was at the eastern end of the northern _schola_, as I infer
from the lower paving being much worn in that direction. A fourth
doorway was in the eastern wall to the south, but not south enough
to face the southern _schola_, and a fifth was between these two. Of
these three doorways, the first of them is still hidden by soil, and
the second and third are obliterated with modern walling; a portion
of the architrave of one was found near, but their position is well
marked by the footmarks in the stone.

[Plate VIII: Plan of Great Roman Bath, Bath. Discovered 1880-81 and
measured 1884, by Charles E. Davis, F.S.A.]

I should not omit mentioning the mark of a wooden seat in the northern
rectangular recess, and the place of a wooden rail for clothes, that
was let into the pilaster at one end with the _slot_ in a pilaster at
the other.

In my plan (_Pl. VIII._) I have endeavoured to show the massive lower
paving and the fragmentary upper pavement. Both are much worn; and,
where the upper pavement has disappeared against the upper step of the
bath, especially the step on the western _schola_, it has been worn
down on the inside to the depth of several inches. The lower pavement
through the south-western door is worn in holes, and across by the
angular fountain are similar wearings, marking "a short cut" into the
northern _schola_; and this is continued in a less degree to the other
doors,--save the north-western one, where the upper paving in part
exists, showing that this doorway was closed before the baths were
allowed to get so shamefully out of repair. This sadly dilapidated
pavement must have caused considerable inconvenience to the bathers,
and could only have been put up with by those too poor to incur the
expenses of repair; the baths therefore were continued to be used by
less prosperous citizens than those who provided them. Is not this a
strong argument that the Romans left behind them, when they abandoned
Britain (A.D. 420), a people almost as great lovers of the baths as
themselves, with, however, less ability to maintain them; and that
the residents of Aquæ Sulis daily frequented them during the 150 years
that succeeded until the city was overthrown by our more immediate
ancestors, who destroyed before abandoning it to desolation?

The springs flooded the courts and corridors of the Thermæ until the
washings of the land filled them. Rushes, withies, and trees grew
beneath the shadow of its ruins. Bathancastra (Akemancastra) was
founded;[26] the memory of the baths was lost; its architectural
magnificence was the quarry of the builders, who little dreamt
that beneath the soil was buried the rich treasure which we in this
century, and those who have preceded us in the last, have had the
privilege of laying bare.

[Footnote 26: "The foundation of a monastery by an under-King of the
Hwiccas [Osric, Nov. 6, A.D. 676,] within its walls, reveals to us
the springing up of a new life in another of the cities which had been
wrecked by Ceawlin's inroad, the city of Bath."--_Green's "Making of
England_," p. 356.

Professor Earle throws some doubt on the authenticity of the record.]

The Romans left behind them in Bath a Palace of Health and Luxury
unequalled except in Italy.

       *       *       *       *       *

In making some excavations (1885) beneath the Cross Bath, the walls
of the Roman well were found, and at a considerable depth two altars,
which are placed for exhibition in the Great Bath. One of these is a
plain rectangular altar; the other is carved on three sides, having on
the front face two figures (Æsculapius offering a lamb to Hegiea), on
another side a serpent coiled round the trunk of a tree, and on the
third sculptured side a dog with a curly tail (see Professor Sayce and
Rev. Preb. Scarth).

       *       *       *       *       *





       *       *       *       *       *

FOUNDED by the Romans in the First Century.

BATHERS DURING 1889, 104,597.

Daily yield 507,600 gallons at 120° Fah.

       *       *       *       *       *

These Waters are beneficial in all forms of Gout, Sub-acute, Chronic
and Muscular Rheumatism--Neuralgias, Sciatica, Lumbago, certain forms
of Paralysis, Nervous Debility, Diseases of Women, Disorders of the
Digestive System, Tropical Anoemia, Metallic Poisoning, Eczema, Lepra,
Psoriasis, and all the Scaly Diseases of the Skin. Some Surgical
Diseases of the Joints, general Weakness of Limbs after injury, and
Diseases of the Throat and Air Passages.

Upwards of £40,000 have been lately expended by the Corporation of the
City to enlarge and perfect the various appliances, rendering them,
in the words of one of the greatest Hygienic Physicians of the day,
THE MOST PERFECT IN EUROPE. Thermal Vapour, Douche with Massage by
doucheurs and doucheuses from Continental Spas, Pulverised and Vapour
Douche, Spray, Dry and Moist Heat, and Shower, with luxurious Cooling



       *       *       *       *       *



  First Class Deep Bath..         2  6
  Ditto with Douche or Shower..   3  0
  First Class Reclining Bath..    2  0
  Ditto with Douche or Shower..   2  6
  Dry Douche..                    2  0
  Attendant's Fee..               0  3

First Class Reclining Bath with Massage (1 Doucher) 3s. 6d.,
Attendant's Fee, 6d.

Attached to these Baths is a

       *       *       *       *       *


Daily supplied with Fresh Mineral Water.

For Ladies' use on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

With use of Private Room for 1 Person, 1s.; 2 Persons, 1s. 6d.; 3
Persons, 2s.

Public Room, 6d. Bathing Dresses, 2d. Attendant's Fee, 1d.

This Bath is available for Gentlemen on Tuesdays, till 1 p.m.,
Thursdays, Saturdays, and on Sunday Mornings up to 9.30 a.m., at 1s.
each Person.

       *       *       *       *       *


  First Class Deep Bath.      2  0
    ditto ditto with Douche.  2  6
  Second Class Deep Bath.     1  6
    ditto ditto with Douche.  2  0
  Reclining Bath.             1  6
     ditto with Douche.       2  0
  Shower Bath                 1  6

Attendant's Fees. 2d. & 3d.

       *       *       *       *       *


  With use of Private Room ..  0  9
  With use of Public Room ..   0  6

No Attendant's Fees. This Bath is closed on Thursdays at 1 p.m.

       *       *       *       *       *


  Open Public Bath               0  1
  Open Public Bath, with Towel   0  2

This Bath is available for Females on Thursdays, under the charge of a
female attendant. Fee, including bathing dress, 2d.

       *       *       *       *       *


  First Class Deep Bath                                                 2 6
  Ditto with Douche or Shower                                           3 0
  First Class Reclining Bath                                            2 0
  Ditto with Douche, or Shower, or Lumbar Douche, or Douche Ascendante  2 6
  Ditto with Special Douche                                             3 0
  Needle Douche (or Douche en Cercle)                                   2 0
  Ditto with Deep Bath                                                  3 6
  Vertebral Douche 1s. extra Moist and Dry Heat per hour                2 6
  Ditto  with Deep Bath                                                 3 6
  Attendant's Fee                                                       0 3

First Class Reclining Bath with Massage (1 Doucher) 3s. Attendant's
Fee, 6d.


  First Class Reclining Bath            1 6
  Ditto with Scottish Douche            2 6
  Reclining Bath with Massage           1 9
  Attendant's Fee                       0 6
  Massage Bath                          1 6
  Scottish Douche alone                 1 0
    Attendant's Fee                     0 3
  Second Class Reclining Baths       6d. & 1s.
  King's Public Baths                6d. & 1s.
  Attendant's Fee                       0 1


  Special Medicated Baths               3 6
  Massage Douche Bath, Aix-les-Bains
    system (2 doucheurs)                3 6
  Berthollet with Massage (1 doucheur)  3 0
  Massage, in Reclining Bath
    and Douche (1 doucheur)             2 6
  Attendant's Fee                       0 6
  Massage Douche Bath (Aix-les-Bains
    system) 1 doucheur                  2 6
  Berthollet-Natural Vapour Bath        2 6
  Bouillon Room, if taken alone         1 0
  Pulverization for the Nose,
    Ears, Eyes, Face, or Throat         1 0
  Sitz Bath (special)                   2 0
  Attendant's Fee                       0 3

Portable Baths, at a temperature not exceeding 106°, Fahrt., can be
supplied at private residences, by arrangement. Also Mineral Water in

       *       *       *       *       *


The Grand Pump Room is open each Week-day from 8.30 a.m. till 6 p.m.,
and on Sundays after the Morning service till 2 p.m.


  Single Glass               2d.

  Per Book of 20 Coupons     1 6

One Coupon must be given up each time of Drinking the Water, at either
the Grand Pump Room or the Hetling Pump Room.

  Ticket for Drinking the Water for 12 Months, for One Person   £1.

  For a Family                                                  £2.

Tickets for Bathing must in all cases be obtained at the Ticket Office
adjoining the Grand Hotel, and all baths are booked by the clerk in
charge; and such baths must be paid for at the time of booking.

All Fees to Attendants are included in the charge paid for Tickets.

Any irregularities or incivility on the part of any of the Attendants
should at once be reported to the General Manager.

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