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Roman Baths at Ta' Baldu

Roman Baths were revealed in a location close to Misrah Suffara, called Ta’ Baldu, probably a corruption of the name Teobald. They were first mentioned by Dr A. Caruana in 1882. (The site is characterized by two oblong farmhouses possibly dating to the 17th century.) Both farmhouses are typical of vernacular architecture and are found within a rural setting that has until 2004 remained mostly unchanged for the past 300 hundred years. Close to the farmhouses are a number of rubble walls, some of exceptional workmanship and soaring up to 5m in height.

Within the ridge beneath the farmhouses are a number of differently sized caves. Amongst these a rock-cut chamber believed to have served as a bathing place during the Early-modern period, and another larger cave containing water reservoirs, the date '1629' inscribed on one of the rock walls, a stone table and benches, and a Roman olive crusher (trapetum). The presence of this trapetum implies the existence of a Roman rustic villa in the vicinity. Between 1664 and 1665, a German traveler called Schellinkx described and published an illustration of the afore-mentioned features, which are still extant on site, though their conservation in-situ has now become under threat owing to the ongoing development taking place without any regard to permit requirements and best practice in conservation. The second farmhouse is being restored according to planning permit conditions and approved restoration method statement.

Roman Baths at Ta' Baldu

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