Getting creative

Curse tablets on display at the Roman Baths

Here’s something that’s a bit different, as autumn draws on.

The Roman Baths is launching a series of day courses and online lectures.

Guest speakers and tutors will cover subjects from Roman medical treatments to the recent discovery of a Roman sarcophagus in Sydney Gardens, Bath. There’s even a chance to create art inspired by the Roman Baths.

Councillor Kevin Guy, Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “These sessions offer a chance to look at the Roman Baths and our World Heritage city through a new lens, whether you’re interested in history and archaeology or arts and crafts.”

Day courses

Art and Craft Day Course
Saturday 15 October 202210am to 4pm

Spend the day with tutor Karen Woodfield working on two projects inspired by the beauty of Bath stone and the water of the Roman Baths. Walk through the Roman Baths looking at colours and the flow of the water, and explore beginners’ watercolour techniques, illustration and lettering. In the afternoon, learn Nuno felting techniques on silk, working with beautiful wool and silk fibres. 

Greco-Roman Medicine and What It Can Teach Us Today
Saturday 26 November 202210am to 4pm

Finding ways to cope with illness and injury have been constant concerns throughout human history. Written records and archaeological finds from sites such as Bath paint a vivid picture of the medical care provided to the inhabitants of Roman Britain.

  • Did any of the medical or surgical treatments offered by Greco-Roman healers work?
  • Are aqueducts, drains and bathhouses really a reflection of Roman concern for public health?
  • Can modern doctors learn anything from their Roman forbears?

These questions – and more besides – will be explored using practical sessions, discussions, lectures, and an examination of key finds from Bath.

Day courses £45/£35 for Discovery Card holders, seniors and students.

For booking information contact

Online lectures

Sydney Gardens Excavations, Bath
With Kelly MadiganThursday 20 October 20227pm to 8pm

An archaeological excavation was carried out at Sydney Gardens, Bath following the discovery of a stone sarcophagus during groundworks in 2021. This was the first sarcophagus and cremation deposits archaeologically recorded in Bath during the modern era. Kelly Madigan’s lecture focuses on the two individuals, very likely both women, who were found associated with the sarcophagus. They not only provide a rare snapshot of the burial practice of the reuse of stone sarcophagi but also provide us with a glimpse into who actually lived in the city in c. 4th century AD.

Practical Magic: How to Curse a Thief in Roman Britain
With Dr Stuart McKieThursday 17 November 20227pm to 8pm

The Roman curse tablets discovered at Bath are the personal and private prayers of 130 individuals inscribed on small sheets of lead, pewter or tin. Join Dr Stuart McKie to hear him talk about the physical and emotional experience of making a curse tablet in Roman Britain, using the theft curses from Bath as his main case study. He will discuss the social contexts, and the ways that curse tablets fit into the social lives of the people who used them.

Online talks £5 per person. You will receive a link after you have made a booking. Please book at