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Bath History

Bath History Bath history probably dates back to the Prehistoric era and it is also probable that Celtic people knew about the properties of the hot springs.

Legend has it that King Bladud, a Trojan refugee who was also the father of the infamous King Lear, founded the town around 2,800 years ago. He used the hot springs to cure his leprosy and there is now a statue of him at Cross Bath.

The Romans properly established the town and named it Aquae Sulis (named after the Celtic goddess Sul) in AD44, and by the reign of Agricola in AD 78-84, the town was already a thriving spa with an extensive baths complex.

The Anglo-Saxons arrived in 577 AD to find a completely ruined town. They believed that the town was holy and in 944 founded a monastery on the site of the present abbey.

Bath became a centre for the wool-trading industry during the Middle Ages and although some visitors did come to use the baths, it wasn’t until the arrival of Ralph Allen in the 18th century that the hot springs were reborn in Bath.

Ralph Allen and Richard Nash became two of the most influential people in Bath’s history and when Richard Nash was appointed Master of Ceremonies in Bath he became governor of every aspect of social and cultural life and the aristocracy flocked to the area to gossip, gamble and enjoy holidays.

However, by the turn of the century influential people were turning their backs on the springs in favour of seawater and departing by train to the coast.

Thankfully, much of the architecture and the baths remain and Bath has become a fashionable town for visitors from across the globe.

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