In the 18th century it was claimed that the hot springs could cure complaints as diverse as piles, sciatica, migraine, sterility and syphilis. Immersion and exercise in the spa waters was shown to have a beneficial effect on some complaints, notably rheumatic and arthritic conditions. The first national hospital in Britain, the Royal Mineral Water Hospital, was founded in Bath in 1738 to treat those who could not afford private treatment. Treatment continued to be available on NHS until 1976. Image courtesy and copyright of Bath and North East Somerset Council (B&NES).
The commercial Thermae Bath Spa, the only hot-springs-based spa in the UK, was opened in 2006 to provide a range of relaxation and therapeutic treatments. The spa is supplied by water obtained from deep boreholes that tap the springs at a level at which the water is anaerobic and free from potential harmful bacteria and amoeba. It is further treated and the temperature allowed to reduce to 35-36°C before it is used in the bathing pools. Image courtesy and copyright of B&NES Council.