Tour Locations | Walk the Highlights of Medieval Bath
LOCATION 5 | Walk the Highlights of Medieval Bath
Bath Abbey: Churchyard
Let's stop here for a while.
You are now in the Abbey churchyard and depending on the time of day, this area can be incredibly busy and you may want to find a comfortable spot away from the crowds, or street musicians or large groups and individuals attracted to what is the primary meeting point in Bath.
In fact, try to imagine what it was like here over 2000 years ago with no buildings. You would have not been alone, as members from the local British Celtic tribe would also be here, praying with the language of the day, the Brythonic or British language, as this is the location of one of the three natural springs and where these people came to worship the Goddess of the magical, healing mineral-rich hot waters. She was known as SUL. However, in the year AD 43, the Roman empire came here they built a spa and temple complex around this sacred spring and worshipped their own deity MINERVA, but had the good sense to join her with the local goddess SUL and ended up with a joint goddess called SULIS MINERVA. They then created a city with a two-kilometre perimeter wall and this became known throughout the Roman empire as AQUA SULIS.
To have the best view, you should be standing close by, but with your back to the north range of buildings, just along from the Bath Aqua Glass shop which should be on your left, which incidentally makes superb blue glass objects, great for souvenirs.
By looking directly south across the square, back the way you came, you will see the 18th-century classical buildings, built over the remains of the Roman spa and temple, collectively known as the Roman Baths Museum, a must-see attraction for many visitors.
Now look to your left and up at the great west front of Bath Abbey church.
Can you see the beautiful carvings and symbolic messages?
They were created by the stonemasons of 500 years ago when this country was Roman Catholic, only to break away within a few years and to form the Church of England.
[1.5 SECOND PAUSE]
The inside of the church is also worth a visit. Although the church does not formally charge an entrance fee, a voluntary donation system is in place, so feel free to donate if you want to at the entrance desk.
If it's open and you're so inclined, there is an optional track about the interior of the church.
Enter the church and manually select the next track called "Inside Bath Abbey"
If you prefer not to go in, or the church is closed, you can also listen to the track out here if you like.
If you would rather keep moving now, then with your back to the church, continue walking across the churchyard, keeping the Roman Baths on your left. Go through the covered area of columns in front of you and continue across the open pedestrian area to another covered sidewalk.