Bath is the largest city in the county of Somerset, England, known for and named after its Roman-built baths. Bath is in the valley of the River Avon, 156 km west of London and 18 km southeast of Bristol. The city became a World Heritage site in 1987. The city became a spa with the Latin name Aquae Sulis 60 AD when the Romans built baths and a temple in the valley of the River Avon, although hot springs were known even before then. Bath Abbey was founded in the 7th century and became a religious centre; the building was rebuilt in the 12th and 16th centuries. In the 17th century, claims were made for the curative properties of water from the springs, and Bath became popular as a spa town in the Georgian era. Georgian architecture, crafted from Bath stone, includes the Royal Crescent, Circus, Pump Room and Assembly Rooms where Beau Nash presided over the city’s social life from 1705 until his death in 1761. There are several museums including the Museum of Bath Architecture, the Victoria Art Gallery, the Museum of East Asian Art, the Herschel Museum of Astronomy, Fashion Museum, and the Holburne Museum. The city has two universities – the University of Bath and Bath Spa University – with Bath College providing further education. Sporting clubs include Bath Rugby and Bath City F.C.
History: The hills in the locality such as Bathampton Down saw human activity from the Mesolithic period. Archaeological evidence shows that the site of the Roman baths’ mainspring may have been treated as a shrine by the Britons, and was dedicated to the goddess Sulis, whom the Romans identified with Minerva; the name Sulis continued to be used after the Roman invasion, appearing in the town’s Roman name, Aquae Sulis (literally, “the waters of Sulis”). Messages to her scratched onto metal, known as curse tablets, have been recovered from the sacred spring by archaeologists. The tablets were written in Latin, and cursed people whom the writers felt had wronged them. For example, if a citizen had his clothes stolen at the baths, he might write a curse, naming the suspects, on a tablet to be read by the goddess. Bath may have been the site of the Battle of Badon (c.500 AD ), in which King Arthur is said to have defeated the Anglo-Saxons. The town was captured by the West Saxons in 577 after the Battle of Dorham.
By the 9th century, the old Roman street pattern was lost and Bath was a royal possession. King Alfred laid out the town afresh, leaving its south-eastern quadrant as the abbey precinct. Edgar of England was crowned king of England in Bath Abbey in 973, in a ceremony that formed the basis of all future English coronations. By the 15th century, Bath’s abbey church was dilapidated and Oliver King, Bishop of Bath and Wells, decided to rebuild it on a smaller scale in 1500. The new church was completed just a few years before Bath Priory was dissolved in 1539 by Henry VIII. The abbey church became derelict before being restored as the city’s parish church in the Elizabethan era when the city experienced a revival as a spa. The baths were improved and the city began to attract the aristocracy. A Royal charter granted by Queen Elizabeth I in 1590 confirmed city status. In the 1970s and 1980s, it was recognised that the conservation of historic buildings was inadequate, leading to more care and reuse of buildings and open spaces. In 1987 the city was selected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, recognising its international cultural significance. Since 2000, major developments have included the Thermae Bath Spa, the Southgate shopping centre, the residential Western Riverside project on the Stothert & Pitt factory site, and the riverside Bath Quays office and business development.
*(All the above information are from Wikipedia.)
Airport: Airports with proper domestic and international connectivity near Bath are Bournemouth Airport, Bristol Airport, Bristol Filton Airport, Cardiff Airport, Exeter Airport, Gloucestershire Airport, London Oxford Airport, London Heathrow Airport and Southampton Airport.
Rail: The rail routes that pass through Bath are Great Western Main Line and Wessex Main Line.
Road: Bath is approximately 18 km south-east of the larger city and port of Bristol, to which it is linked by the A4 road, which runs through Bath, and is a similar distance south of the M4 motorway. The National Cycle Route 24 passes through the city.
Ferry: The city is connected to Bristol and the sea by the River Avon, navigable via locks by small boats.
Places of interest in Bath are the Roman Bath, Bath Cathedral, Museum of Bath Architecture, the Victoria Art Gallery, the Museum of East Asian Art, the Herschel Museum of Astronomy, Fashion Museum, and the Holburne Museum.