Gellygaer Fort Baths

Bath House

Gellygaer Fort Baths were  sited outside the fort, which was normal for safety reasons (they were a fire risk), and also because of the shortage of space within the fort.  At Gelligaer the bath-house, measuring 33.5 m by 19.8 m, comprised the usual suite of hot, warm and cold rooms, a circular sweating chamber and exercise yard. The hot and warm rooms were provided with under-floor heating (hypocausts). The building had a tiled roof, tile fragments being found in abundance all over the site. Some of the rooms were also decorated with painted wallplaster, and the windows were glazed.

The bath-house was an essential feature in Roman everyday life, providing facilities for a soldier to bathe and cleanse his body, exercise and recreation. It was a place to meet friends and relax – gossip, gamble, play games, have a snack and drink – when off duty.