This oblique aerial view of the city, which in the 16th century had changed little since Roman times, shows the city built around the three hot springs that fed the King’s Bath, Cross Bath and Com[m]on Bath. The Mill Bath was fed by the overflow from the King’s Bath. This artistic view is the equivalent of that at c. 70° to the ground from an aeroplane flying at c.5,000 m, made 250 years before an aeroplane reached that height.
According to legend and the historian Geoffrey of Monmouth (Historia Regum Brittaniae, 1136), the hot springs at Bath were discovered in the 9th century BC by Bladud, a Celtic prince who was so disfigured by leprosy that he became a wandering swineherd so that his people would not have to look on his disfigurement. When he chanced upon the hot springs and noticed that the sores on his pigs were healed by their waters, he cured himself. He went on to become a great king who founded the city of Bath, learned to fly without artificial aids, and sired King Lear..
R W Gallois
BSc., PhD., C Geol., C Eng., FGS, FIMM