Bath Hotel
more to come
The History of Bath
Hotel Photo Gallery
Tradition widely held by local residents ascribes the actual discovery of the springs to a runaway slave, Jacob, who had been suffering from bed ulcers on his legs. The story goes that while hiding from his master in the wilderness of the Sulphur River gorge, Jacob accidentally came across hot water gushing from a rock and collecting in a pool below. Finding the water much to his liking, he frequently returned to the pool to soak his entire body in it. After doing this for some time, he noticed that, much to his astonishment and delight, his long-standing ulcers were healed, Having been cured, the slave braved the wrath of his master, Colonel Stanton, and returned to him and reported the discovery of the magical healing properties of the water.
In 1699, Colonel Stanton sold the spring and the adjoining 1,130 acres of land to the Government got the sum of four hundred pounds (₤400). By the early 1720's, the springs were already in public use and were attracting an increasing number of visitors from all parts of the island who came to make use of the curative properties of the water. People of wealth began establishing residences in and around Bath of St. Thomas the Apostle and the town of Bath sprang up at a site about half mile south of the springs. The therapeutic value and healing properties of these waters are well known and have been referred to by a number of authors in the past.
Since the establishment of the baths, thousands of people suffering from gout, rheumatism, disorder of the stomach, fever and various kinds of skin diseases have derived tremendous benefits from the waters. Research has shown that for maximum benefits, the water should be ingested and the body infused (soaked) in the water for a period of approximately 20 minutes.
Bath village is built on the banks of the Plantain Garden River, the only stream in Jamaica which flows from west to east. The village is located in the interior of St. Thomas. Bath owes its origin in the early 18th century to the discovery and development of the spring. Hot water baths became very fashionable and the village of Bath began to expand rapidly and soon became a notable and exclusive retreat for ailing whites that journeyed to Jamaica from the United Kingdom and other European Countries. Many persons of fortune bought lots and began to erect townhouses.
The square was soon adorned with a hospital, a public lodging house and a billiard room. It became the fashion every year for a crowd of company (socialites) to assemble there from all quarters of the island and abroad. At nights gaiety was in abundance, the powers of music were ever-present and the card tables were not idle. In short, from a destitute and desolate rural area, Bath grew into a rendezvous for the polite and social amusements for the most privileged. Bath also became a Buccaneer weekend playground for the likes of Captain Sir Henry Morgan and his gambling cohorts who, in amorous indulgence, visited bath often whenever in Jamaica. Many writers of this time claimed that within the Jamaican plantocracy, Bath was a necessity where both ladies and gentlemen of the wealthy and elite got the opportunity to partake in the splendour as well as the general over-indulgence in food and drinks.
Bath Botanical Garden

Bath Botanical Garden, the second oldest botanical garden in the Western Hemisphere, was established in 1779. Many of the plants introduced to Jamaica were first planted in this garden - among them are cinnamon, mango, jackfruit, croton, jacaranda and bougainvillea. The most important plant ever introduced in this garden was the breadfruit. The garden is much smaller today than when it was first established in 1779 and bears little trace of its former glory. There is, however, a fine stand of royal palms and a most splendid tree called the "Barrington Speciosa". There is also the screw pine with stilt roots, which were among the plants on board a French ship that was captured by the Flora in 1782, a ship in Lord Rodney's squadron at the battle of the Saintes, St. Lucia, the final Anglo-French battle in the Caribbean.

Photo Gallery