Blog on ‘Health and Society in Georgian Spas’

      No Comments on Blog on ‘Health and Society in Georgian Spas’

By GlynisIngram

As part of the ‘Fashionable Diseases’ Leverhulme Trust project, we have held five workshops in the first year. The last of these in November 2013 was entitled ‘Fashion and Illness in Georgian Bath.’ Although Bath is well-known as the eighteenth-century centre for fashionable society, it is easy to forget that it only became so due to its identity as a health resort. As with other spas in Britain and Europe at this time, people originally travelled to Bath for the healing effects of the waters. Phyllis Hembry explains in The English Spa, 1560-1815 that in the Medieval period the waters of many spas were thought to be miraculous while from the Elizabethan period onwards, more emphasis was placed on the chemical properties of the mineral salts and water.1
By the eighteenth century many spas throughout Britain and Europe were popular resorts for those hoping to cure various illnesses as well as for more preventative measures. As the wealthy upper and moneyed middle classes toured the spas for their health, the towns began to provide better amenities and increased entertainment for recreation. It is only because of the health tourism that spas like Bath, Tunbridge, Cheltenham, Bristol and others became such …read more