Project / Retrofit & Reuse

Roman Baths Temple Precinct

Modern access to an ancient monument

The Roman Baths and Pump Room complex is one of the country’s most important ancient monuments. The heritage significance of the site is recognised in its designation as a Scheduled Monument.

Mann Williams were appointed by Bath and North East Somerset Council (B&NES) to provide structural engineering design for a new visitors’ access walkway in the Temple Precinct complex below the pump rooms, replacing timber walkways that relied on the Roman paving for support.

  • Location Bath
  • Client Bath and North East Somerset Council
  • Completion 2016
  • Value £1.5m
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A less demanding walkway

The new walkway, constructed from a lightweight steel frame, is suspended from the underside of the existing Pump Room floor structure via hanger rods, removing the interface with the archaeology.

The dynamic response interaction between the existing pump room floor and new lightweight walkway was an important consideration. To enable a realistic model of the existing pump room floor stiffness characteristics to be made, on-site dynamic testing of the floor was carried out. This information was fed into an analysis model to enable vibration modes, damping and relative stiffness of the existing floor structure to be determined for comparison against the walkway vibration characteristics.

Careful consideration

Access into the Temple Precinct basement area is restricted by fire escape stairs requiring component sizes to be limited to manageable sizes. Working over a Scheduled Monument is a significant consideration for the walkway component design buildability.

Durability considerations for materials in the humidity controlled precinct environment meant the use of hot dipped galvanised steelwork for the walkway and stainless steel open mesh floor panels. The mesh infill panels allow a degree of visibility through to the Roman floor below.

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