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Cross Bath

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Built  c. 1789
Reference no.  442195
Designated  12 June, 1950
Architect  Thomas Baldwin
Cross Bath wwwbuildingconservationcomarticlescrossbathpi
Location  Bath, Somerset, England
Similar  Thermae Bath Spa, Grand Pump Room - Ba, Bath Street - Bath, Stall Street - Bath, Widcombe Manor House

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The Cross Bath in Bath Street, Bath, Somerset, England is a historic pool for bathing. It was rebuilt, in the style of Robert Adam by Thomas Baldwin around 1789. It is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building, and was restored during the 1990s by Donald Insall Associates.

Contents

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Geology

Cross Bath PHOTO Cross Bath at Thermae Bath Spa in Bath England

The water which bubbles up from the ground at Bath, fell as rain on the nearby Mendip Hills. It percolates down through limestone aquifers to a depth of between 2,700 metres (8,900 ft) and 4,300 metres (14,100 ft) where geothermal energy raises the water temperature to between 64 °C (147.2 °F) and 96 °C (204.8 °F). Under pressure, the heated water rises to the surface along fissures and faults in the limestone. This process is similar to an artificial one known as Enhanced Geothermal System which also makes use of the high pressures and temperatures below the Earth's crust. Hot water at a temperature of 46 °C (114.8 °F) rises here at the rate of 1,170,000 litres (257,364 imp gal) every day, from a geological fault (the Pennyquick fault).

History

The warm water spring was possibly used before the nearby Roman Baths were developed.

Cross Bath The Millennium Spa Project Bath

The name is believed to commemorate the body of St Aldhelm resting there on its journey from Doulting to Malmesbury Abbey in 709.

Cross Bath Cross Bath Wikipedia

The healing powers of the bath were one of the reasons for the foundation of St John's Hospital, Bath around 1180, by Bishop Reginald Fitz Jocelin and is among the oldest almshouses in England.

In the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries the baths were frequently visited by royalty, increasing their popularity. In June 1688, Mary of Modena, James II's wife, gave birth to a son, Prince James nine months after bathing in the Cross Bath. The Melfort Cross, was erected in 1688 to celebrate the birth.

The bath was refurbished in the 1990s, by Donald Insall Associates. Access is now administered in conjunction with the adjacent Thermae Bath Spa.

References

Cross Bath Wikipedia


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