Bath – City of Ancient History
Recent archaeological investigations reveal Bath began as a settlement around 10,000 years ago. Attracted by thermal hot springs for bathing and the incredible natural spa pools in the area, humans sought healing properties from mineral-rich waters. By 700 BC, the practice of worshipping the water goddess Sulis became commonplace, and after Roman occupation, the Roman water goddess Minerva was considered equal to the Celtic-named Sulis. From then onwards, everyone worshipped Sulis-Minerva.
These baths, visited by Neolithic hunter-gatherers, Celtic, Roman and finally Christian peoples, saw successive generations build elaborate bathing and temple structures. This is how Bath got its name, and where the English word ‘bath’ originated.
Mineral and Healing Properties of Bath
The mineral properties and healing qualities of Bath’s Aqua Sulis shrine attracts thousands today, with an impressive modern complex allowing admission to several pools and spa treatment areas. Archaeological restorations in Bath city centre contain artifacts from all the peoples who inhabited the region over thousands of years. This is the most important archaeological record in existence for Roman life north of the Alps. For this reason, the City of Bath is a World Heritage site.
Bath City Attractions
Walking around Bath is a leisurely day out. Admire the gorgeous bridges, intricate ancient passage-ways crafted in bath-stone, and quirky shops. Bath’s buildings provide stunning examples of the Georgian architectural period. The Palladian structures are breathtakingly beautiful; adorning abbeys, bath-houses and bathing temples.
Outside of Bath is one of the great houses belonging to the British aristocracy. The 7th Marquess of Bath resides at Longleat House, where the public can visit, viewing the stately home and the adjacent safari park. A personal passion of the Marquess, the park is home to more than 500 animals who roam freely around 9,000 acres of Wiltshire countryside. Half an hour south of Longleat, the World Heritage listed sites at Stonehenge, Avebury and Salisbury host incredible historical museums, taking visitors back in time to ancient England and medieval life.
Nearby, Glastonbury Tor is the site of the world-famous Glastonbury Festival – three days of epic music and artistic entertainment held each summer. As a student you must get along to this festival at least once and camp there. The Tor is sacred to the practise of Druidism, and the little town hosts shops where you can buy ancient natural remedies and gifts considered ‘old-world’ English, in origin.
Bath is regularly used as a film set for television adaptations (such as Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice). The Royal Crescent is well worth a visit. This set of terraced houses tower majestically over the city, providing a worthy vista. The numerous restaurants, bars, and sophisticated wine-bars in the city centre make Bath a place to inspire and entertain any visitor. The relaxing beer-gardens, gastro-pubs, landscaped commons and parks exist purely to delight the senses. Bath is perfect for picnics and cycling days out. Fashionable and fabulous, living in Bath makes for the ultimate experience of modern life, against a backdrop of ancient English history.
Living and studying in Bath is a rewarding cultural experience. With the added advantage of close proximity to London, Bath is an incredibly popular destination for those wanting to experience English life.