This book covers the cities of Bristol and Bath, together with the adjoining areas of south Gloucestershire and north Somersetan area roughly equivalent to the county of Avon recently done away with. The book is in two parts. The initial chapters describe the offerings made in prehistoric times, the life of Roman Bath, the early Christian days when saints were often associated with wells and springs, to medieval days and monastic connections. The tale leads on to the conduits which served Bath and Bristolthe wooden and lead pipes which conducted the water from wells and springs in the surrounding hills to troughs and reservoirs in the towns, and of which there are many reminders still around. The coming of the spas, so important to this area, is also recounted.
The gazetteer covers the area parish by parish, detailing their springs and wells, together with the cures, ghosts, stories and customs associated with each. The research has been meticulous, not just from written sources, but also as a result of conversations with local people throughout the area covered by the book. Whilst a great deal of this information has not appeared in print before, much of the rest has been hidden away in obscure works on topography and rarely-seen old maps.
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