Bath‘s King Bladud gets a visit from Bath City Language Coaching to tell the story of how Bath‘s magical waters, some pigs with leprosy, and some acorns were to help in making Bath the famous city it is today.
If you visit Bath‘s Circus, you will notice small stone acorns on top of the houses. What is so important about acorns? In the video below you can hear the story, but I shall tell it here as well…
Thousands of years ago, Prince Bladud, the son of a chieftain, was sent to Greece to study. He caught leprosy from the lepers there, and decided to return home when his fingers and toes (and possibly other parts of his body) started rotting and falling off.
By the time he returned, he was in a terrible state, and his dad told him to “do one” (i.e. go away). Banished from the tribe, Bladud had to look after pigs and wander the country. Pretty soon, his pigs caught leprosy from him.
One day, they were walking near some oak trees that were growing in a pool of warm mud. Acorns grow on oak trees, and pigs are very fond of acorns, so the porkers ran into the mud to eat as many as they could. They rolled around in the mud and the magical water that came from deep underground cured them of leprosy. Bladud decided to roll in the mud, too, and was also cured of leprosy.
He went back to his parents and later became King Bladud. He had some slaves build shrines where the warm springs were, and many years later the Romans arrived, built the Roman Baths, and since then people have been visiting Bath for its waters which are believed to have a medicinal effect.
The acorns on the roofs at the Circus in Bath represent the acorns that the pigs ate.
The statue of the pig that stands next to King Bladud in Bath‘s Parade Gardens was designed and built by a friend of mine while he was a Masonry lecturer at Bath College.
Bath City Language Coaching does not condone the use of rude gestures people might see in the video. But to “give someone the finger” is understood around the world. In Britain, it is more common to “flip someone the V-sign”, which does not stand for “Victory” when your fingernails are facing the person you are talking to; it is our equivalent of the middle finger used in other countries. So, please be careful when ordering two beers in the pub. Especially in The Star Inn in Bath.