Tour Locations | Walk the Highlights of Georgian & Victorian Bath
LOCATION 39 | Walk the Highlights of Georgian & Victorian Bath
Grand Pump Room
Let’s stop here, outside the Grand Pump Room. With the west front of the Gothic Abbey Church across the churchyard ahead of you, turn to your right to face the beautiful classical architecture of the Pump Room, built in the late 1700s. This building, with its large structural columns and Corinthian capitals, above which is a pediment, the triangle of stone, where you will see written in Greek, using golden lettering, a quotation from an ancient Greek poet called Pindar.
This quote translates into English, as - ‘Water is Best’. This of course refers to hot spring waters – as this building was used by the visitors as a salon and a place of assembly, where the one could take the waters, as this building sits directly on top of the Roman remains from 2000 years ago and also one of the 3 hot springs.
It is here and at the other 2 springs 100 metres away in Bath Street, where visitors would bathe and also drink these mineral waters, to address any health issues they might have! - this was known as - 'taking the waters'.
In it's heyday in the 1700s, when Bath became the foremost place of resort in the country, it was all about 'seeing others and being seen yourself', a marriage market for some and a business market for others and a place of promenading. Of course it was also a place of theatre, dancing, and gambling - and became known as the valley of Satan, because of its decadence. Bath then become a place of retirement and a bit of a backwater in the 1800s and by the 1900s and up to today, it became a place of convalescence for the recovering service personnel from WWI and WWII, a relocation site for some of the Royal Navy’s land based operations, while also a place of both heavy and light industry, boutique businesses, and education from its respected schools and universities.
In 1987, UNESCO listed the whole of Bath as a World Heritage Site and today, Bath has a resident population of over 90,000, plus over 20,000 university students, all in just a small valley, stretching a few kilometres along the river Avon.
This is where I'll be leaving you.
Enjoy the rest of your visit to Bath and maybe indulge in some refreshments from the Mokoko café, located under the covered walkway you’ve just walked through and if you are looking for something different as a souvenir, then try the Bath Aqua Glass shop across the churchyard, just to the left of the Abbey. To relocate back to your starting point, proceed to the right of the Abbey west facade and continue east a short distance to the end of York Street.
If you have not already tried another of my walks, called - ‘Walk the Highlights of Medieval Bath’ – perhaps you would like to give it a go, as this will complete the story of the of Bath.
I would appreciate it if you took a moment to rate the tour and leave a comment.
Thank you and farewell, my friend.