written and read by Clare Reddaway
LIVE LAUNCH Saturday 26th November 2011, Kilter, London Rd
STORY LOCATION & DIRECTIONS
FACTUAL BASIS FOR MAEVE
In case you wondered, here's some of the proper historical info that inspired Maeve. Today’s London Road runs along the same route as the Roman Fosse Way and was the main access into Roman Aquae Sulis. Aquae Sulis was a major centre of pilgrimage and as such attracted supplicants from all over the Empire: coins from as far away as Egypt have been discovered here. Eye disease was a common reason for visitors to seek a cure from the waters. The Fosse Way would have been wooded. Roman graves have been discovered beside the road. There are Roman buildings under what is now Hudson’s Wine Bar, and it is thought that there might have been a commercial and secular centre in that area serving the religious complex of Aquae Sulis. The River Avon would have been wider and shallower than it is today, as the current river has been managed, controlled and contained. There is archaeological evidence of a ford across the river just downstream of the current Cleveland Bridge. Excavation at the Sacred Spring has by no means been completed – the swamp has not yet yielded all of its curse tablets.
Heads & Tales thanks Bath & North East Somerset Council, Stuart Burroughs of the Museum of Bath at Work and Jane Bircher for their assistance with the creation of this story. It was recorded by Joe Jones, with thanks to Steve Osborne and Real World Studios. Photographs are by Lisa Fryer.