Somerset

Hot springs hope for Bath Abbey and Pump Rooms heating

The Roman Baths, Pump Room and Bath Abbey in the background
Image caption Bath and North East Somerset Council said the work would be monitored by an archaeologist

Investigative work has started for plans to heat Bath Abbey using the city's hot springs.

Each day some 250,000 gallons (1.137 ML) of water with a temperature of about 45C (113F) flow through the Roman Baths from underground springs.

The council claims this could supply up to 1.5MW (megawatts) of energy - enough to heat the abbey and the Pump Rooms.

Contractors have started digging in Kingston Parade to find out if there is room for heat exchanger equipment.

Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The work is part of an £18m project to stabilise the floor of Bath Abbey

A Bath and North East Somerset Council spokesman said all the necessary consent has been obtained and the work will respect the historic nature of the area.

"An archaeologist will be working alongside the engineers to document and interpret any objects that may be uncovered by the excavation," he said.

The work is part of an £18m project to stabilise the "huge underground voids" underneath the floor of the 500-year-old abbey.

It is thought up to 6,000 bodies had been buried underneath the abbey and the voids were caused by graves settling.

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