Posted by: christinelaennec | June 3, 2014

The Roman Baths in Bearsden, Glasgow

I’m happy to tell you that the Dafter’s health is improving!  The other day we were able to leave the wheelchair at the gate and go on foot to explore and photograph the Roman Bath ruins.

The Dafter on her feet!  May 2014.

The Dafter on her feet! May 2014.

These ruins are in a northern suburb of Glasgow called Bearsden.  (I have no idea whether there were ever bears here.)  This bath house served a barracks or fort located along the long wall called the Antonine Wall.  The Antonine Wall was built in about 140 A.D. by Emperor Antoninus Pius, and it marked the northernmost boundary of the Roman Empire.  Even on a pleasant day, it’s hard to imagine the Romans not feeling a little bit chilly all the way up here!

Roman ruins, with wheelchair left at the entrance. May 2014.

Roman ruins, with wheelchair left at the entrance. May 2014.

The soldiers weren’t just having cold baths, though – far from it.  The bathhouse was pretty sophisticated, with hot rooms using underfloor heating, a hot and dry room heated by a furnace, a cold room and also a cold bath.  And did I mention a large changing room?  Probably without lockers, though.

Roman ruins, Bearsden, Glasgow.  May 2014.

Roman ruins, Bearsden, Glasgow. May 2014.

We had such a nice time, exploring and trying to imagine Roman soldiers in this place, so very long ago.

The Dafter at the Roman ruins, Bearsden, Glasgow.  May 2014.

The Dafter at the Roman ruins, Bearsden, Glasgow. May 2014.

Below you see the semi-circular cold bath, with a bench running along the side.  It does kind of give me the shivers to think actual, real people like us (or probably not very like us) sat there at one time!

The hot bath??

The cold bath

Historical places do have that somewhat shivery effect on me.  Which is silly, because actually almost every place you can go is a “historical place” insofar as it has some kind of history.



  1. Excellent photos Christine and very good to see your dafter up and about. These ruins are very interesting. We have similar ruins in Caerleon (fort of the legion – same name as Carlisle, btw) here near Newport, including an excellent amphitheater. But that bath you show is amazing. Ave, Christine!

  2. Yes, I shivered too. Just looking at The Dafter dressed for a Sydney summer. Surely Glasgow in May can’t be that warm!

  3. Beautiful pictures and great news that Dafter’s health is improving !!!

  4. Christine, I confess I didn’t read so much about the baths as I couldn’t get past the fact that your daughter is looking so fantastic! So absolutely super to see her up and about and enjoying herself. Sorry, I’ll have to go back and read about the baths again. I do have a friend in Bearsden. I didn’t know there were baths there. Again, really thrilled that she is doing so well. 🙂 🙂

  5. So happy to see that you and the daughter were out and about on such a lovely tour. Glad to see the wheel chair left behind at the gate. Such a joy to know that she is getting stronger.

  6. I’m so happy to hear that your daughter is getting better. That’s some really good news!

  7. I often feel the same way when I visit places of historic significance, Christine. Maybe it’s a highly developed sense for those have gone before. Great to see the dafter up and about, and looking so well.

  8. Hurray for your daughter! Even if there was an ME payback after this day out, it is so encouraging to see that a trip like this is possible. May there be more and more wheelchair-free adventures. 🙂

    I have never visited the Roman ruins in Bearsden: thanks for sharing your discoveries. It’s natural I think to get the shivers when we come face to face (or foot to foot?) with tangible evidence of life from the distant past. I felt the same in Bath last year, at the Roman Baths; and often get that sense in medieval churches. Time collapses, if only for a fleeting moment.

  9. Yes, very interesting about the Roman ruins…… but yea for the Dafter. You go, girl! 🙂

    Wendy in NH

  10. Now this is good news indeed to see the Dafter on her feet for an outing!!! wow! That is such a thanksgiving! Fascinating baths!!! Amazing to imagine that all going on in Scotland.

  11. I had no idea there were Roman baths in Bearsden, what an interesting excursion. I like it when I visit a historical site like that and get a sense of the people who were there so long ago, the shivery feeling is kind of nice, don’t you think? Terrific to see the Dafter up and about, too.

  12. Great to see the dafter up and about and looking so well! I get those same shivery feelings around historical places. So nice you two had an outing together and she was able to leave the chair at the gate.

  13. I love old ruins, such inspiring places. As if fingers to the rest of the world.. we survived, we are staying. Best wishes to your daughter also. x

  14. So happy to see the Dafter.x I am probably getting a thing on wheels !

  15. I’ve been to the Roman Baths in Bath, but until now I had no idea there were Roman baths in Bearsden. Thankyou for the excellent photos. And I am just delighted that The Dafter is feeling better.

  16. How fantastic that the Dafter is picking up, that is so good to hear, long may it continue. I think Roman baths often had sort of cubby holes in the changing room in which to leave your clothes and a slave was employed to watch them.
    I love contact with the past like that, especially buildings that are still used and I loved studying Latin (and Greek) at school, the Cambridge Latin course is great, lots of information about Roman life too.

  17. I’m so glad to hear that your daughter in improving!

  18. Dear everyone,
    Thank you for sharing my delight at the Dafter’s upturn, and my shivers at walking through Roman baths.

    Jill – if you do get a thing on wheels, you might find that it opens up your life a lot. That was what happened when we got the wheelchair over two years ago.


  19. What fantastic news, Christine – I mean about the Dafter’s health, of course. Though to see history and the way people of a different age lived is quite fantastic, too. xo

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