Rare view of King’s Bath

The level lowered in the King's Bath
The level lowered in the King’s Bath

Well, here’s something you don’t see every day. The geo-thermal waters that normally fill the King’s Bath at the Roman Baths being diverted so maintenance work can be carried out.

In this case – all the sunshine means the algae is blooming at a fast rate.

So the spa water was re-directed to lower the level so the sides of this original Roman cistern can be hosed down and the algae washed away.

Bit of a treat for the tourists – and for me – to be able to see the entrance to the stone-lined drain which for two thousand years has channelled the water away to the River Avon.

Hosing down the algae in the King's Bath
Hosing down the algae in the King’s Bath

The bath of the later bath here has been cut back to the original line of most of the first century Roman reservoir created to allow the swampy land around it to dry out.

This was the sacred spring into which hundreds of offerings were made to the goddess Sulis Minerva.

The King’s Bath has been in use from mediaeval times and you can see the tide mark – showing the normal level of the water – around its edges.

This is iron oxide – one of 43 minerals and metals contained in the geo-thermal waters that come up from a vast lake two miles under the earth.