The following pages are the result of the far from scholarly researches of a friend and myself, into those bits of Bath's past that happen to interest us. The city contains some of the best 18th century architecture around, along with a well-preserved set of Roman baths. These are what people come to see, and so they are what most of the literature and the websites describe. In a sense this is a pity, because it is easy to forget that for thirteen centuries, from 400 to 1700, Bath was a thriving market town and for much of the time a spa resort. Pre-Georgian Bath may not feature much in the guidebooks, but it was always there.
Fortunately there are a number of sources, both printed and on the internet, which help to fill in the gaps. The ones we have used here are listed below, with the letters which identify them in the text (e.g. 'PD' for Peter Davenport). Where the source is a web page (e.g. JM) clicking these letters links directly to it. It's worth mentioning here that all the images on this site belong to someone, and any reuse for commercial purposes would therefore be an infringement of the owner's copyright.
(AB) Arthur Bryant 'Samuel Pepys: The Saviour Of The Navy' 1938
(BA) Bath Archaeological Trust: reports of various excavations in Bath
(BB) Bath Blitz Memorial Project: Bath during WW2
(BC) Bath Chronicle: the special issue commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Baedecker raids included the photo used in the web version of the walk
(BK) Bath.co.uk: general information about Bath (we also found the photo of Southgate Street on this site)
(GM) Genmaps: a fascinating online collection of historical maps
(IW) Ian Wilson 'Shakespeare The Evidence' Headline 1993
(JA) The letters of Jane Austen
(JM) Bath Past: historian Jean Manco's account of the city from Saxon to Georgian times
(JW) John Wroughton 'A Comunity At War' 1992: Bath during the Civil War
(MP) St. Michael with St. Paul: church website
(NA) National Archives: extensive searchable database
(PD) Peter Davenport 'Medieval Bath Uncovered' Tempus 2002: a comprehensive study by the former director of excavations at the Bath Archaeological Trust
(PM) Peter MacDonald 'Bath 2000': web review of the book
(WP) Wikipedia: online encyclopedia
The painting of St. James' Church is from Chris Walker's geneaology site
Thanks to Jim Cowe, Steve Dolman and Les Kurle for various images and anecdotes. Thanks also to Alistair Bartlett, the landlord of the Rummer, who let us photograph the east gate from ground level; and to Kevin Withers, the landlord of the Grapes in Westgate Street, who kindly allowed us to view the Jacobean ceiling in his front room and search his cellar for traces of a medieval church. But of that, more anon!