Bath's Parliament of Owls


I am traveling around the south of England and currently in Bath - we are all aware of the famous spa centre, known to the Romans as Aquae Sulis, where they built a temple and bath house in around 60 AD, although hot springs were known well before that.

Legend has it that In 863BC, Bladud, King of the Britons and father of the unfortunate King Lear, (who was immortalised by Shakespeare), contracted leprosy while studying in Athens. He left the royal palace in disguise and became a swineherd, settling in the Avon Valley, where Bladud drove his pigs in search of acorns. The pigs also contracted leprosy, were cured when they bathed in the local hot, murky waters. Bladud followed suit and was also cured. (Wikipedia)

10 years ago the legend was celebrated by King Bladud’s Pigs Sculpture Trail and to raise funds for four local charities. (


Like the Berlin bears, it was very successful and this year the theme is owls.


Source: my own photo

Although parliament was never convened in Bath, it attained royal connections in early times. The Anglo-Saxons called the town Baðum, Baðan or Baðon, meaning at the baths and this was the source of the present name. In 675, Osric, King of the Hwicce, set up a monastic house at Bath, probably using the walled area as its precinct. King Offa of Mercia gained control of this monastery in 781 and rebuilt the church, which was dedicated to St. Peter. Edgar of England was crowned King of England in Bath Abbey in 973. (

For those of you who would like more information check out the
Minerva's Owl site

All images unless stated are Jane's