In Somerset, is the site of a Roman spa, Aquae Sulis, probably built in the 1st and 2nd cents ad.
In the 18th cent. Bath was transformed into a social resort by Richard (‘Beau’) Nash, who became master of ceremonies, Ralph Allen, who promoted the development of the city, and John Wood, father and son, who designed the Palladian public buildings and houses. It is the subject of very frequent literary allusion, having been visited among many others by Smollett, Fielding, Sheridan, F. Burney, Goldsmith, Southey, Landor, J. Austen, Wordsworth, Cowper, Scott, T. Moore, and Dickens. Its ruins seem to be the subject of the OE poem ‘The Ruin’.