The “Roman Baths” in Strand lane is a spring-fed plunge bath in the City of Westminster.
Despite the name, any association to the Romans is dubious, or void in certainty. The baths contain no visible Roman material, nor has any paper been published to give credibility to the name or connection. More likely the baths date from the Tudor period, but evidence for this is also sparse.
The baths first written reference was in a 1784 book by John Pinkerton who described it as a “fine antique bath” from the cellar of a house in “Norfolk Street in the Strand formerly belonging to the Earl of Arundel whose house and vast gardens were adjacent [to the site]”.
One theory, is that the baths were built during the reign of James I for use by Anne of Denmark, in 1612, but it may be that they were built as cisterns for Arundel House over the spring and lost in the 16th century when the estate was demolished and later rediscovered in 1774.
Whatever the truth, the past history of the bath remains a mystery for historians.
Access into the bath house is rare, generally either “Open House” or via request to the National Trust. However, the baths are still visible 24/7 though a glass window on 5 Strand Lane.