The Sacred Spring by Damienne Bingham

Canvas Prints

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$53.50
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Roman Baths
Bath, England. 2007.

Canon EOS 400D
Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM
RAW. BW conversion in PS.



At the very heart of the Roman Baths is the Sacred Spring. Hot water at a temperature of 46°C rises here at the rate of 1,170,000 litres (240,000 gallons) every day and has been doing this for thousands of years.

In the past this natural phenomenon was beyond human understanding and it was believed to be the work of the ancient gods. In Roman times a great Temple was built next to the Spring dedicated to the goddess Sulis Minerva, a deity with healing powers.

The mineral rich water from the Sacred Spring supplied a magnificent bath-house which attracted visitors from across the Roman Empire.

Roman engineers surrounded the hot Spring with an irregular stone chamber lined with lead. To provide a stable foundation for this they drove oak piles into the mud. At first this reservoir formed an open pool in a corner of the Temple courtyard but in the second century AD it was enclosed within a barrel vaulted building and columns and statue bases were placed in the Spring itself. Enclosing the Spring in a dimly lit building in this way and erecting statues and columns within it must have enhanced the aura of mystery that surrounded it. Offerings were thrown into the Spring throughout the Roman period.

Eventually the vaulted building collapsed into the Sacred Spring itself. We do not know when this was, but it is likely to have been in the sixth or seventh century. The oak piles sunk into the mud two thousand years ago continue to provide a stable foundation for the Roman reservoir walls today.

The King’s Bath was built, using the lower walls of the Roman Spring building as foundations, in the 12th century. The bath provided niches for bathers to sit in, immersed up to their necks in water. On the south side of the bath is a seat known as the Master of the Baths chair, that was donated in the 17th century.

Although modified and encroached upon by the building of the Grand Pump Room in the 18th century and subsequent 19th century developments the King’s Bath continued in use for curative bathing until the middle of the 20th century. The bath is overlooked by a statue of King Bladud, the mythical discoverer of the hot waters and founder of the City of Bath.
(care of the RomanBaths website)



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damienne bingham, damienne, bingham, greeneyedharpy, green, eyed, harpy, black and white, black white, black, white, mono, monotone, monochrome, urban, exploration, urban exploration, urbex, history, historical, ancient, rome, roman, ancient rome, bath, england, english, architecture, architectural, grunge, stone, arch, arches, water, pooldamienne bingham, tone, ancient history, uk, britain, british, archaeology, archaeological, column, stairs, triptych, diptych, travel

I am a freelance photographer originally from Brisbane, Australia, and currently living in Cape Town, South Africa.

I enjoy many forms of photography – with a particular interest in travel and nature photography. This diversity can be seen in the range of genres and styles in my portfolio

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Comments

  • EarthGipsy
    EarthGipsyover 3 years ago

    Nice work!

  • Thank you!

    – Damienne Bingham

  • Astrid Ewing Photography
    Astrid Ewing P...over 3 years ago

    Great study of the baths, they really suit the monochrome finish!

  • Thanks Astrid. I so appreciate all your kind comments, you always take so much time – it means a lot! And I’m glad you agree about the b&w – I feel this place really lends itself to the grungy, contrasty style.

    Thanks again!

    – Damienne Bingham

  • VallaV
    VallaVover 3 years ago

    all hardened expectant…
    Very atmospheric!

  • Thank you!

    – Damienne Bingham

  • Angela King-Jones
    Angela King-Jonesover 3 years ago

    Congrats, your beautiful piece has been featured July 2011

  • Thanks so much Angela, that’s wonderful!

    – Damienne Bingham

  • Tula Top
    Tula Topover 3 years ago

    Oooo, lovely triptych or tryptich or tryptych or thryphthchych or however the hell you spell it. Awesome series, DB!

  • haha wow you have overwhelmed me with your kindness – when I signed on all I saw was a mass of my own photos in the feed at the top! Very nice surprise indeed. So glad you are enjoying these Tula. Thanks for stopping by and hope you’re well!

    (And you should not be allowed near any stray consonants! Looks like you’re learning Welsh!)

    – Damienne Bingham

  • Alison Scotland
    Alison Scotlandover 3 years ago

    Fantastic triptych, great textures and tones….love your composition too.

  • Thanks Alison, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! And thanks for leaving such a thoughtful comment!

    – Damienne Bingham

  • Trish Woodford
    Trish Woodfordalmost 3 years ago

    All three are great images, perfect exposure and tones. Superb work Damienne!

  • Thanks so much Trish, I’m glad you enjoyed them!

    – Damienne Bingham

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