114 Route 15. BATH. From London
Square (PI. C, 2) and Bennett St. (PI. D, 2), pens, from 7s. 6d.; Fernley's
Temperance (PI. h ; B, C, 3), near the Abbey, R. 3s. 3d., D. 3s.
Cabs. For 2 pers., with 1 horse, Is. per mile, 2s. 6d. per hr.; each
addit. pers. 6d. Tolls are paid by the hirer. Fare and a half between
midnight and 6 a.m. Luggage, 112 lbs. free, every addit. 56 lbs. 6d. —
Bath Chairs, Is. per mile or hr.; one-third more for going more than
200 yds. up hill.
Electric Tramways traverse some of the principal streets and run to
(3^2 M.) Balhford, (272 31.) Batheaston, (2 M.) Combe Down, (2 M.) Weston,
and other suburbs.
Music. Band twice daily in summer (Slay to Sept.) in the Victoria
Park, Sydney Gardens, or Institution Gardens (season-ticket 5s.); once daily
in winter in the Concert Room, where vocal concerts are also given (season
ticket 10s.). — High-class concerts take place in the Assembly Rooms.
Theatre Royal (PI. C, 2), Saw Close. — Lyric Theatre of Varieties,
Post Office (PI. D, 2), York Buildings. Branch post and telegraph
office, in the High St., opposite the Blunicipal Buildings.
Bath, the chief place in Somerset, is a handsome town of (1901)
49,817 inhab., beautifully situated in the valley of the Avon and on
the slopes of the surrounding hills, and is perhaps unrivalled among
provincial English towns for its combination of archaeological,
historic, scenic, and social interest. It is a city of crescents and
terraces, built in a very substantial manner of a fine yellow limestone
(oolite), and rising tier above tier to a height of about 600 ft. Bath
owes its external appearance very largely to the architect John Wood
(d. 1754) and his son of the same name (d. 1782).
Tradition ascribes the discovery of the springs of Bath to an ancient
British prince named Bladud, who was afflicted with leprosy and ob¬
served their beneficial effects on a herd of swine suffering from a similar
disease. The therapeutic value of the waters did not escape the keen
eyes of the bath-loving Romans, who built here a large city, with ex¬
tensive baths and temples, of which numerous remains have been discovered
(comp. p. 115). Their name for it, Aquae Sulis, was taken from a local deiiy
Sul, whom they identified with Jlinerva. For a century and a half after
the departure of the Romans Bath remained in possession of the Britons,
but about 577 it was taken and destroyed by the Saxons, whose name for
it was Akemanceasler (from a local corruption of Aquae, and maw =■ place).
At a later date it reappears in history under the name of Ael Bathum ('at
the bath'), and after the Norman Conquest it became the seat of a bishop
(1092). The beginning of its modern reputation as a watering-place may
be placed about 1650, but it did not reach the zenith of its prosperity till
the following century, when it became for a time the most fashionable
watering-place in England. This was mainly due to the indefatigable
exertions of the famous master of the ceremonies, Beau Nash (d. 1761),
who introduced order and method into the amusements and customs of
the place. Among the innumerable visitors of eminence in the 18th and
early 19th cent, may be mentioned Chatham, Pitt, Canning, and Burke,
Nelson, Wolfe, and Sir Sidney Smith, Gainsborough and Lawrence, Smol¬
lett, Fielding, Sheridan, Miss Burney, Goldsmith, Southey, Landor, Miss
Austen, Wordsworth, Cowper, Scott, and Moore. 31emorial tablets mark
the houses occupied by many of these. Perhaps no other English town
of the size has oftener been the theme of literary allusion — from 'Hum¬
phrey Clinker' and the 'School for Scandal' down to the 'Papers of the
Pickwick Club'. The competition of the Continental Spas and other
causes afterwards diverted a great part of the stream of guests, and the
'Queen of all the Spas' subsided into a quiet and aristocratic-looking
place, patronised as a residence by retired officers and visited by numer¬
ous invalids. Of late years , however, Bath has shown marked signs of.
revival as a fashionable resort. For some time it was an important