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Bothwellhaugh Roman Bath House

Bothwellhaugh Roman Bath House
©2016 Gazetteer for Scotland

Bothwellhaugh Roman Bath House

Located in Strathclyde Country Park, adjacent to the South Calder Water and just to the northwest of the Bothwellhaugh Roman Fort are the well-preserved remains of a Roman bath-house. Contemporary with the fort, the bath-house was in use between approximately 142 AD and 162 AD. It was rediscovered following an archaeological survey in 1973 and fully excavated in 1975-6. This established that the bath-house lay below the water-table and was in need of protection. In 1980, the former Motherwell District Council organised the accurate recording of the site, then dismantled the bath-house, rebuilding it directly above its original position, so it could be viewed by the public.

The bath-house would once have comprised a changing room, cold room (Frigidarium) with a cold plunge bath, two warm rooms (Tepidarium), a hot room (Caldarium) with a hot plunge bath, and finally a furnace room (Praefurnium). The bath-house used the ingenious hypocaust system, whereby the furnace passed hot air under the floor and up through the walls of the building, heating each room in turn, but with the temperature decreasing away from the furnace. The foundations of this bath-house remain, along with the parts of the floor of the cold room and cold plunge pool. There is evidence that the building was altered with the size of rooms being changed and the addition of a secondary furnace.


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