Major discovery!

Visitors and residents can enjoy a previously unexplored element of the Roman Baths by booking onto the last two dates of an interactive tour from Bath & North East Somerset Council

The tour – taking place on 17 September and 29 October – features professional actor Ric Jerrom who “brings back to life” Major Charles Davis, the City Architect and Surveyor of Works, who originally discovered and uncovered the Roman Baths in the late 19th century.

Stephen Clews, Manager of the Roman Baths, said: “This is a part of Bath’s history not told anywhere else! Davis was a controversial figure and in this special tour he has returned to Bath, 111 years after news of his demise, to defend his reputation and put the historical record straight.

“You will hear not only about the Roman Baths – where you will be taken around and under the site – but also about the prolific output of this man and the impact he made on the cityscape of Bath during the great spa revival at the end of the 19th century. Hardly a street in the centre of the city does not contain at least one of his buildings.”

Major Davis leads a tour of the Roman Baths. May 2013. Photographer Freia Turland m:07875514528
Major Davis leads a tour of the Roman Baths. May 2013. Photographer Freia Turland m:07875514528

The encounter with the Major begins in the Pump Room itself, where tour-goers will be served a choice of tea or sherry as they gather before setting off under his leadership. The tour also takes in buildings adjacent to the Roman Baths, as the full extent of the Major’s achievements unfold.

Councillor Ben Stevens (Lib-Dem, Widcombe), Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said: “We’re pleased to stage this latest attraction as part of Bath & North East Somerset Council’s imaginative approach to telling the story of the local area from Roman times to the present day, as the arts can play a great role in helping people to understand and engage with history. This initiative is all about making history accessible with the best of modern interpretation that appeals to people of all ages.”

Scores of visitors have already lapped up the opportunity to take in this unusual tour and now only two dates remain – 17 September and 29 October. Tour-goers can meet from 5.45pm (for a 6pm start) in the King’s Lounge (entry via the Stall Street entrance to the Pump Room). Discounted tour prices for Discovery Card holders are £8 for adults and £4 for children (aged 11 and over). The tour lasts an hour and the price including Roman Baths admission for those without a Discovery Card is £18 for adults and £12 for children (aged 11 and over). Private tours can also be arranged.

To book your place and purchase a ticket call 01225 477773 before spaces run out!