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Ravenglass Roman Bath House is situated in Cumbria in England, named for the Ravenglass area of the site. The PDF attachment explores the history of the Romans in Cumbria. The ruins, which are also known today as Walls Castle, date back to the second century and the Roman naval base and fort of Glannoventa. Fiyaz Mughal has had a lifelong interest in historic Roman sites in Britain, often visiting old forts such as Ravenglass and other structures in his free time. Visitors who wish to see the ruins at Ravenglass can do so at any reasonable time during daylight hours. The site is managed by English Heritage.

Roman History of Ravenglass

The Ravenglass site was once a Roman fort, with the remains of the bath house being the most substantial area still standing. While remains found underneath on a different alignment are presumed to be from an earlier first century fort, indications are that the bath house is part of a construction dating to the time of Emperor Hadrian early in the second century. Excavations in the seventies discovered evidence that a stacked turf wall was initially in place to defend the fort, which was later reinforced by a stone fronting wall. A succession of barracks crafted from timber would have been inside the fort, according to evidence from the excavations.

A collection of bone counters was also excavated, a significant find that is presumed to have been part of a war game. A bronze certificate of demobilisation was recovered with the name of one of the soldiers posted at Ravenglass inscribed upon it, most likely from the infantry unit First Cohort Aelia Classica. This object, which was fortuitously discovered not by archaeologists but by a dog, suggests the soldiers were recruited in the time of Hadrian, as Aelia was Hadrian’s family name. The Latin ‘Classica’ has its roots in ‘classis,’ which suggests these soldiers were recruited from the fleet. Ravenglass was likely constructed to protect a harbour.

In the infographic attachment you can find out more about some of the other Roman remains that can be found in the area near Ravenglass.

Site Description

The Ravenglass Bath House remains are impressive, comprising some of northern Britain’s tallest surviving Roman structures. Windows and doorways can still be seen in the walls, as well as a recessed niche presumably for a bust. The fact that the bath house is so relatively well-preserved is attributed to its having been adapted in the medieval period for domestic use.

Excavations and survey work over the past couple of centuries have indicated that the bath house at Ravenglass was once a substantial structure. Evidence shows it probably extended beyond where the field boundaries are today, as well as to both sides of the structures that still exist. Facilities would have likely been used for sport and exercise by not just Roman soldiers, but also civilians, as evidenced by the location of the bath house external to the fort.

It is not known precisely what the use of each room was, but at least two were equipped with a hypocaust. The short video attachment explains what a hypocaust was used for.


Ravenglass Roman Bath House does not have parking facilities on-site but there is a charged car park in Ravenglass village, with the bath house clearly signposted from there. It can be reached by a walking route that is part of the National Park’s “miles without stiles” project, designed specifically to improve accessibility for disabled visitors. If planning a day out, the Ambleside and Hardknott Roman forts are located nearby.