Bath is a city of breathtaking beauty with a romantic history.
Ever since the legendary Prince Bladud was restored to health around
BC860 by the mysterious waters, people have journeyed here.
The Celts dedicated the hot springs to their deity Sul. Then the Romans
in 43AD created a great temple in honour of their goddess Minerva over
the healing springs.
Today's visitors are fascinated by the most famous Roman remains in
Britain. However, it is the classical architecture of the eighteenth-century
Georgian Bath that today offers us such a feast for the eye.
There are more grade 1 listed buildings in Bath than in central London.
The importance of Bath was recognised in 1987 with designation 'World
Heritage Site', the only city so honoured in Britain.
No visitor to Bath leaves unrefreshed or without a profound sense of
gratitude for the gifts of the past.
Three remarkable men were largely responsible for the creation of the
Ralph Allen was a man of humble birth who became a great entrepreneur.
He started by revolutionising the Post Office and then saw the potential
for quarrying Bath stone. He was the patron of the visionary architect,
John Wood, who was to display the stone's qualities in one fine building
and crescent after another.
the same time Bath society was being transformed by a successful gambler
and 'bon viveur' extraordinaire, Richard 'Beau' Nash.
He became the city's Master of Ceremonies in 1705 and established the
Assembly Rooms as the centre of fashionable life in Bath. He was the
undisputed 'King of Bath' for 40 years.
The plan by John Wood the elder (1705 - 1754) inspired the most enduring
and harmonious of Britain's great historic cities.
After his death he was well served by his son John Wood the younger
(1728 - 1801), who completed his father's plans, most notably the Circus,
and then embarked on his own brilliant designs.
His masterpiece was the Royal Crescent, which is one of the great set
pieces of European architecture and the world's finest crescent.
People came to Bath to take the waters and be seen, but the other reason
was to buy goods unobtainable at home. The shops were similar in quality
to those in London, but with the advantage that they were all closely
The quality and variety of shops still bring people to Bath, and still
have the great advantage of all being within walking distance of each