On this day, I decided to travel just a little bit farther than Hatfield, to the neighbouring Welwyn Garden City to see the Welwyn Roman Bath ruins. It’s pretty much located in the middle of no where, and I was going alone, so google maps was my only ally, or so I thought. My maps actually stopped working halfway, and I was freaking out. But the bus driver, who knew I was going there because I had bought a paper ticket, was super nice and stopped for me anyway, informing me that it was my stop. People here are so nice ♡
When I got there, I was so confused because of this tunnel thing. Does this not just look like some regular underpass (and a shady one at that, being in the middle of no where)?
When I entered, I gave the single staff member a bit of a shock. He looked down at is watch and said, “Exactly 1 pm. No one has ever come exactly at opening time except you!” I laughed, mostly because I’m one of those chronically late people so this was nothing short of a miracle for the both of us. I paid the small fee and took a look at the ruins.
As it turns out, coming early does indeed have its benefits (I should listen more to you, mum). The staff member explained how the excavation site was basically found by accident and what the ruins actually were. The structures actually make up different parts of a bathhouse, including a steam room, hot bath area, foot bath area and so on.
There was also an area where the furnace once was, and the staff explained how the Romans would have a slave on hand to burn coal heating the water tank, which was connected to the rest of the heating system as well. Quite high tech for something built in 3 AD!
There were also some artifacts found in and around the bathhouse, which are showcased. Hairpins, pottery, jewelry and coins all reveal the extravagant lifestyles these people had. Museums and ruins always have this strange effect on me; making me wonder about the full lives these people led.
They also apparently found this skeleton somewhere nearby. She was a woman who was buried in the nearby site. There were also some children’s activities, as the ruins are pretty popular for school trips. All in all, I think this was a pretty cool place to spend an hour or two.