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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 October, 2003, 12:09 GMT 13:09 UK
Roman baths threatened by water
Roman Baths
The work should be finished by November
Emergency work is under way in Somerset after water leaks at Roman baths were found to be destroying an artefact more than 1,700 years old.

The water was seeping through a road outside the entrance to the Stall Street entrance in Bath, and destroying a third century cold plunge bath.

Roman remains beneath York Street, Stall Street and Kingston Parade were also found to be under threat.

Cobbles will be lifted and a damp proof course put in, with work expected to end by early November.

Outstanding importance

Stephen Clews, curator of the Roman baths, said: "It may seem odd that water should be a problem for a bath.

"But what is happening is a cycle of wetting and drying has developed as the condition of the road above deteriorates and leaks form.

"Over time salt in the water causes problems with the structure of the ancient stonework and Roman renders," he added.

The baths contains the remains of a major religious spas from the ancient world, and a Roman museum collection of "outstanding national importance".

Council to sue over spa delay
25 Sep 03  |  Somerset
Spa project delays 'frustrating'
10 May 03  |  Somerset

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