Return to Roman Ruins in Britain
"The third wonder is the Hot Lake, where the Baths of Badon are, in the country of the Hwicce. It is surrounded by a wall, made of brick and stone, and men may go there to bathe at any time, and every man can have the kind of bath he likes. If he wants, it will be a cold bath; and if he wants a hot bath, it will be hot."
Nennius, Historia Brittonum
Bath (Aquae Sulis) is, after Hadrian's Wall, the most famous Roman antiquity in Britain. It was designed as a spa toward the end of the first century and had a temple dedicated to Sulis-Minerva (Sulis was a native goddess to whom the waters were sacred). Part of the decoration of the temple pediment was the head of Medusa now on display in the Museum. The Great Bath, itself, was covered over with a roof supported by twelve piers, which can be seen in the picture above, with windows permitting an outdoor altar to be viewed directly from the baths.
Coincidentally, one of the longest words in the English language (fifty-two letters) is used to describe the spa waters at Bath: aequeosalinocalcalinosetaceoaluminosocupreovitriolic.