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Events & Reunions > Recent Events > Roman Baths Tour

The Water Nymph StatueAlumni explore the hidden tunnels at the Roman Baths
Thursday 11 June 2009

A group of University of Bath alumni enjoyed a special private tour of the tunnels at the Roman Baths, an area of the famous Roman site not normally open to the public.

The tour was arranged by the Alumni Relations office as part of a programme of special events for alumni in the local area.  

The group of thirty, led by Sarah Fox, Collections Manager, and Helen Harman, Collections Assistant, went through the closed doors of the Baths to explore areas six metres below the modern streets of Bath.

We saw the remains of the Georgian houses that used to stand on York Street and that had been built on top of the Roman Baths.

It was only in the late nineteenth century that the Roman Baths were discovered and explored, and the front façade of some of the houses that covered the remains still stand.

The Roman site is much larger than the area open to the public and much of it still exists underneath the modern streets.

When the Victorians uncovered the site and built upon it, many of the old Roman Walls were protected by the modern additions; the result is a fascinating combination of Roman, Georgian and Victorian building work.

In one area of ground, protected by a Victorian arch, you can clearly see the different layers of earth and building material, from Roman rubble, Saxon organic matter through to the Middle Ages and Monastic period up to the building of the Georgian city.

The tour also included a visit to the Museum’s stone store and we were able to hold pieces of RomanPart of the Stone Store pottery and see many of the artefacts not on public display.

We also saw the modern addition of the pipes leading from the Roman Baths and supplying water for the new Thermae Spa.

It was a fascinating tour, enjoyed by all, and special thanks must go to the staff from the Roman Baths. Photos from the event can be found at our Flickr gallery pages Thanks also to Karen Francis, Matthew Jones and Andrew Symons, who have kindly shared their photos from the event.

There will be another special behind the scenes tour arranged for alumni in the autumn. Anyone interested should keep an eye on the Forthcoming Events pages on our website.