We were staying in Bath. One of its attractions is the Thermae Bath Spa, built on the site of the Roman baths, and supplied, as were the Roman baths, by warm spring water.

On Sunday Charlotte and I walked down Widcombe Hill and across the River Avon to the Spa for what we expected would be a nice hot plunge. The spa opens at nine o’clock. We arrived at ten past. This meant a queue – the English queue for everything – and so we stood in line for an hour waiting for a change room.

Why hadn’t we booked? You can’t, except for special treatments. And we couldn’t leave the queue for a cup of coffee because we’d have lost our place.

At £40 each I expected something better, but perhaps the Sunday of a Bank holiday weekend in May was not a good time to go. Oh well, the rooftop pool was fun.


The rooftop pool at the Thermae Bath Spa photographed in 2010 from Bath Abbey – image from Wikipedia; photograph by user:Simple Bob CC by 2.0


The Cross Bath adjacent to the Thermal Bath Spa



Looking down Bath Street toward the South Colonnade entrance of the Grand Pump Room. Bath was almost deserted on the Sunday morning except for the queue at the Thermal Bath Spa.

In the afternoon we drove to look at the Clifton Suspension Bridge (designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, completed after his death) near Bristol.


Nearby in Clifton, we found the house of John James (1808 – 1855), the first husband my 3rd great grandmother Charlotte Dana.

John James divorced Charlotte in 1849. At the time of the 1851 census he was living with his mother, brother, and daughter Constance aged 10, at 24 The Mall, Clifton. They had 4 live-in servants. The house overlooks a pretty garden, where I imagine Constance played.

1851 census for John James

1851 English census Class: HO107; Piece: 1952; Folio: 383;Page: 33; GSU roll: 87352 retrieved through ancestry.com


The Mall Gardens, Clifton , Gloucestershire