/bath, bahth/, n.1. a city in Avon, in SW England: mineral springs. 84,300.2. a seaport in SW Maine. 10,246.
* * *City (pop., 1995 est.: 84,000), southwestern England.Situated on the River Avon, it was founded as Aquae Sulis by the Romans, who were attracted to its hot mineral springs. The Anglo-Saxons arrived in the 6th century AD, followed by the Normans с 1100. In the Middle Ages it was a prosperous centre for the cloth trade. When the Roman baths were rediscovered in 1755, Bath had already revived as a spa; its popularity is reflected in the works of Jane Austen, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and Tobias Smollett. It was rebuilt and extended in the Palladian style during the 18th century. Bath today retains many of its 18th-century structures.
* * *city, unitary authority of Bath and North East Somerset, historic county of Somerset, England. Bath lies along the River Avon in a natural amphitheatre of steep hills. Built of local limestone, it is one of the most elegant and architecturally distinguished of British cities. Its 16th-century abbey church of St. Peter and St. Paul is late Perpendicular Gothic and is noted for its windows, but it is the wealth of classical Georgian buildings mounting the steep valley sides that gives Bath its distinction.The hot (120 °F [49 °C]) mineral springs on the site attracted the Romans, who founded Bath as Aquae Sulis, dedicated to the deity Sul (Minerva). The Saxons built an abbey on the site at which Edgar, first king of all England, was crowned (AD 973). The Normans subsequently rebuilt the church between 1088 and 1122, transferring there the diocese they had founded at Wells. The bishop's throne returned to Wells in 1206, and there was a long rivalry between the canons of Wells and the monks of Bath, of which the bishop was titular abbot. The diocese is still styled Bath and Wells.Incorporated by charter in 1189, medieval Bath shared in the west-of-England wool trade and later in the cloth trade, but the baths, although still used by royalty, were poorly maintained. When the Roman (ancient Rome) bath, lined with lead from the nearby Mendip Hills, was rediscovered in 1755, Bath had already revived as a spa. In its heyday as a fashionable resort—presided over by the social figure Richard (“Beau”) Nash, one of the greatest English dandies—the Elizabethan town was rebuilt and extended in Palladian style by the architects John Wood the Elder (Wood, John, the Elder) and Younger (Wood, John, the Younger) and their patron, Ralph Allen, who provided the stone from his local quarries and built the mansion of Prior Park (1735–43) outside the city. In 1769–74 Robert Adam (Adam, Robert) built Pulteney Bridge to connect Bath with the new suburb of Bathwick across the River Avon.Close to the abbey, in the entrenched valley of the River Avon, is the 18th-century Pump Room, giving access to the hot springs and Roman baths. Among some 140 historic terraces and individual buildings that grace the city are Queen Square, built by John Wood the Elder between 1728 and 1735; the Circus, begun by Wood in 1754 and completed by his son; the Royal Crescent, 1767–75; the Guildhall, 1775; Lansdown Crescent, built by John Palmer, 1796–97; and the 1795 pavilion in Sydney Gardens, Bathwick, which now houses the Holburne of Menstrie Museum of Arts collection. In 1942 the Assembly Rooms of 1771 were destroyed in an air raid from which the whole city suffered severely, but extensive reconstruction, as well as renovation, has since been carried out. The Assembly Rooms, reopened in 1963, now contain a comprehensive 18th- and 19th-century costume collection. Claverton Manor, 2 miles (3 km) outside the city, is an early 19th-century mansion housing the American Museum in Britain, a large museum of Americana.As the leading centre of English high society outside London in the 18th and early 19th centuries, the city is rich in literary associations. The life of the time is graphically depicted in the novels of Tobias Smollett and in the plays of Richard Brinsley Sheridan. Jane Austen (Austen, Jane)'s novels Northanger Abbey and Persuasion (both 1817/18) portray with delicate satire and keen perception the fashionable life of Bath about 1800. Bath Olivers (biscuits that take their name from William Oliver, an eminent physician who founded what is now the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases), Bath buns, Bath bricks, and Bath (invalid) chairs all derive their names from the city.Although not primarily a manufacturing centre, Bath nevertheless has considerable printing and bookbinding, light engineering, and clothing industries. Pop. (1991) 85,202; (2001) 90,144.city, port of entry (since 1789), seat (1854) of Sagadahoc county, southwestern Maine, U.S. The city lies along the Kennebec River near its mouth on the Atlantic coast, 36 miles (58 km) northeast of Portland. Settled about 1670 and named for the English city, it was part of Georgetown until incorporated as a separate town in 1781. Its shipbuilding industry (exemplified in the Maine Maritime Museum there) dates from 1762, when Captain William Swanton launched the Earl of Bute. The Bath Iron Works (founded 1833 and the city's main economic asset) has been building ships since 1889, reaching peak naval production during the world wars. Inc. city, 1847. Pop. (2000) 9,266; (2006 est.) 9,184.town, Beaufort county, eastern North Carolina, U.S., on the Pamlico estuary. The first proprietary grant in the area (1684) embraced the town site, about 40 miles (65 km) southeast of Greenville, then occupied by a Native American village called Pamlicoe. Settled by the English (1695), it became the seat of old Bath county (formed 1696 and named for John Granville, the earl of Bath) and was colonial North Carolina's first incorporated town (1705). Survivors of the Tuscarora (Indian) War (1711–13) found refuge there, and the pirate Blackbeard (Edward Teach) made it his headquarters. It served as the colony's first official port of entry. Surviving colonial buildings include St. Thomas Episcopal Church (c. 1734) and the Bonner and Palmer-Marsh houses. The town was designated a state historic site in 1963. Pop. (1990) 154; (2000) 275; (2003 est.) 265.also called Berkeley Springstown, seat (1820) of Morgan county, in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, U.S., near the Potomac River. Probably the oldest spa in the nation, it was chartered in 1776 and officially named Bath for the famous English watering place; its post-office name, however, is Berkeley Springs. George Washington (Washington, George) first visited there in 1748 as a surveyor for Thomas Fairfax, 6th Baron Fairfax (Fairfax, Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Baron), who then owned vast tracts of land in the region. Washington returned frequently, often with his family, and most likely it was at his prompting that Lord Fairfax granted the lands around the springs to the colony of Virginia (1756). In 1784 inventor James Rumsey secretly demonstrated for Washington and a few others the steamboat he later tested again in Shepherdstown. Virginia's American Revolutionary War (American Revolution) wounded were treated in Bath, and it remained a popular resort until the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861.The historic warm springs (74 °F [23 °C]), in Berkeley Springs State Park, remain popular for whirlpool therapy and other treatments. Aside from resort and sanitarium activities, the town's economy is sustained by the mining of silica and the manufacture of furniture. Cacapon Resort State Park is nearby. Pop. (1990) 735; (2000) 663.
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