Upper 4 Take a Bath Trip

At the start of July, Upper 4 students visited the Roman Baths as part of their Latin and Classical Civilisation course. During the visit, they explored the role bathing played in Roman society and found out more about the religious, social and engineering aspects of the Baths. Students took part in a workshop called “Interpreting Aquae Sulis” which explored the question “To what extent do you agree that Aquae Sulis was just an ordinary Roman town?” They examined a range of  artefacts and source material to help them answer this question based on the evidence available.

Students enjoyed having the opportunity to walk around the bathing complex, seeing the bubbling waters of the sacred spring, the alcoves where business could have taken place in the Great Bath and the engineering of the hypocaust in the caldarium (hot room) and apodyterio (changing room).

In the temple complex the girls encountered the sacrificial altar, haruspex stone, a gilt bronze head of Minerva Sulis and lead curse tablets, which thrown into the sacred spring, gave a fascinating insight into the religious aspects of the Baths.

Upper 4 thoroughly enjoyed their visit to the Roman Baths. They found the ‘defixiones’ or curse tablets especially interesting, and were impressed that the mosaic floors were surprisingly intact. Many girls tasted the thermal waters – a renowned health cure – and despite the unique rotten egg smell, they did in fact drink some!

Grateful thanks go to Mrs Karanja and to the Classics department for organising and accompanying the visit. 

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