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There are many myths and legends in English history; one of the strangest is the legend of King Bladud, reputedly the founder of the city of Bath. Ancient manuscripts suggest that he ruled for around 20 years – but nobody is sure whether this was 500 years BC, or 300 years earlier than that. He is believed to have founded Bath after noticing that pigs he was herding were bathing in a black mud bath. Bladud himself began to do the same thing, and soon found that the leprosy he was suffering from was cured. Accordingly he founded the city, which to this day is famed for its hot-water baths. Amazingly, the water that flows into the city’s bathhouses today fell as rain on nearby hills some 1,000 years or more before Bladud’s existence, filtering through the rocks over four millenia. The legend of Bladud, however, remains just that – there is absolutely no historical evidence that he ever existed, despite his huge importance to the city of Bath.

Find out more about Bladud on our Bath tour. Click here for more information