Bath

The town in the south-west of England is popular for its Roman Baths founded in 70 CE. It is only a tourist attraction now, not an actual thermal spa. The modern bath is Thermae Bath Spa, the only natural thermal hot spring in Great Britain making 1.7 m litres of hot water daily.

Other popular sites to see are the Royal Crescent, The Circus, Bath Abbey and Pulteney Bridge.

Sally Lunn’s is also worth to visit: one of the oldest houses in Bath still serves the famous Sally Lunn’s bun named after the first owner and founder of the bakery (back in the 1680s).

THE LEGEND OF THE PIGS

In 863 BCE, Bladud, King of the Britons and father of King Lear had spent much of his youth studying in Athens where he contracted leprosy. Returning home and realising that an imperfect prince could not inherit the throne, he left the royal palace in disguise to take a job as a swineherd in an “untravell’d part of the country”, the Avon Valley, the area we know today as Keynsham.

It happened more than 1,000 years before the Romans built villas in Keynsham and a full 1,500 years before the Saxons came to Bath.

Bladud drove his pigs in search of acorns. He crossed the River Avon at shallows north of Saltford – at a place which subsequently took its name from the legend: Swineford.
Bladud’s pigs also contracted his disease but were cured when they rolled in the hot mud around Bath’s springs.

Observing the miracle, Bladud also bathed in the hot, murky water and he was cured as well.  Returning home in triumph he went on to become King. In gratitude for his cure, Bladud founded a city at Bath and dedicated its curative powers to the Celtic goddess Sul. 900 years later the Romans called the city “Aquae Sulis” – the Waters of Sul.

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