Sunday April 21
Trip Start Apr 18, 2013
83Trip End Jul 09, 2013
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Set off to visit sites on our way to Bath.
Westbury or Bratten White Horse
This is a highlight for Ron. If it was not for the gale force icy winds I am sure I could have shared Ron's desire to climb down a 120 degree cliff without a belay to be next to it. Needless to say I talked him out of it.
The history of the white horses is an issue of some debate, in particular with regard to Westbury which is the oldest of Wiltshire's horses. The site is known to have been restored in 1778 but the date of the original work remains largely a matter of conjecture
Nunney Castle, Somerset
This amazing ruin is in a suburban street next to a creek. It has its own moat. It is surrounded with quaint houses and neighbours having tea and scones in their sun rooms.
The striking and picturesque moated castle of Nunney was built in the 1370s by Sir John de la Mere, a local knight who was beginning to enjoy royal favour. Extensively modernised in the late 16th century, the castle was held for the King during the Civil War, but quickly fell to Parliamentarian cannon in 1645: not until Christmas Day 1910, however, did the gun-damaged portion of the wall finally collapse.
It was 9 Celsius today! Far out! It's freezing here. The Roman Baths are extensive.
Bath is situated within the south west of England
The city was first established as a spa with the Latin name, Aquae Sulis ("the waters of Sulis") by the Romans sometime in the AD 60s about 20 years after they had arrived in Britain (AD43).
Now I really didn't know what to expect in Bath. I knew the baths were a ruin but I also knew they were very popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. How does that work? They were lost apparently for centuries after the Roman left but how does that work? The natural spring doesn't just stop running.
So this is what we got out of it. (Don't quote us).
The baths were a massive complex which included temples alter stones, spas massage rooms and so on. They grew for the first 4 centuries AD but when the Romans left they were not maintained and the rooves etc crumpled and fell. Generations quickly forgot the extent of the complex. The hot spring waters continued to run and the clergy used the accessible pool. The ground level rose over the centuries, the rumble of the ruins was recycled. The massive complex was buried under meters of earth.
Archaeologists rediscovered the Baths in the 18th century and they were 'restored' after a fashion with new walls and buildings placed on the foundations of the old. It became the fashionable thing to holiday at the baths and doctors prescribed drinking the water as a tonic for all manner of ailments. Underground archaeologists uncovered more and more structures and buried ruins. The baths were closed and site protected
Today the site is confused with the main pool surrounded by a Roman like building that sits in the middle of Bath. But once you enter that building you gain access the labyrinth guiding you through an underground world where you see the many ancient structures, pools, foundations and floors that extend out beyond the building on the surface.
The engineering behind the bath complex is very sophisticated and much is still there and working.
After the Roman Baths we found a pub for dinner; Hall & Woodhouse.