Friday, 21 February 2014

History explored in Bath

The place that I really wanted to show the children, while learning about the Georgians, was the City of Bath. This city has amazing Georgian architecture from being a fashionable spa town at that time.

Bath is so much more, though, than the Georgians and it seemed silly to miss the Roman Baths while we were visiting.

Bath is readily accessible from London by train so we embarked on a day trip. The children thought the journey was long although a selection of books, paper, stickers, snap (why did I sit in the quiet area?) and food provided entertainment. Having lunch at 11am on the train, gives more time to explore, of course.

A short walk from the train station are the Pump Rooms and Roman Bath complex.

Splendid although partly covered for renovations.

Like many historical sites, audio guides were provided with either a child's version, an adult version or the Bill Bryson story of the Baths. 
The Baths date from Roman times but above the baths, which are 4 metres below street level, the building dates from the Victorian era.

This is real Roman pavement.

The ducks weren't adverse to a swim maybe they liked the warm spring water.

These are the only hot springs in the UK. Some emerge under one of the bath areas but the excess drains away through a Roman drain.

These pieces of masonry are the best part of two thousand years old.

The Baths are child friendly. The children had the opportunity to dress up as Romans although only Youngest Son availed himself of the opportunity. They were also given a sticker puzzle to fill in as they went round. We didn't get ours quite right and realised this just before the end. Both children were given certificates, none the less.

On our way out of the Baths, we popped into the Pump Room to have a look at the pump used in Georgian times by those "taking the waters." Apparently, the waters can still be taken by local residents or those registered disabled. Not falling into these categories, we didn't take the waters. I have memories, from childhood, of the waters tasting rather unpleasant so we probably didn't miss much.

Leaving the Roman Baths and wandering round, we saw a rather unusual form of taxi

as well as the Royal Mineral Water Hospital.

Of course, we really wanted to see the Royal Crescent and the children were very keen to see the ha-ha.
I've done nothing to the colours on this picture-the sky really was this colour. Two minutes later, there was a hail storm.

Number 1 Royal Crescent is furnished in Georgian style and open to the public. 
I was a bit nervous about visiting. We had last visited about 13 years ago and on that occasion, I had found the staff less than welcoming to children. Nothing could have changed more which was definitely a relief! The children were provided with backpacks full of interesting items along with a quiz on a clipboard. There seemed to be two quizzes: one for under 7s and one for 7-11s. The backpacks had some delights like fans, magnifying glasses, smelly bottles, telescopes and simple dictaphones. 
As we visited at half term, we also managed to hear part of a session about Georgian clothing, wigs and make-up. Some of this was available to try on.
 Footman at the door.
Sedan chair ready and waiting.
The front stairs-the back stairs, for the servants, weren't so grand.

Then a walk, through the beautiful Circus and back to the train. 

I love Bath and it is one of my favourite places for a day out. Even better, if it is vaguely in the guise of educating my children!

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  1. Thanks for the trip to Bath! I have read about Bath is so many books and I was glad you mentioned "taking the waters" since that is always in used in reference to Bath.

    1. Beth, glad you enjoyed this. Bath is a fantastic place although I wouldn't recommend "taking the waters"!

  2. Dear Sarah,

    What an excellent blog, I also am a doctor turned, follower of Jesus Christ, wife and mother of 2. When I left my London rotation in O&G I thought I was the only one so much encouraged by the marvelous ministry of your family. May God bless, keep and prosper you and your family in Jesus' name.


    PS link is for our blog which is a long time coming (just seeing over the horizon of 2 under two here)!

    1. Ren, thank you for visiting and your kind comment.