The Romans began the full-scale invasion of Britain in the year 43CE. By 69CE the invasion force had reached Derbyshire and the Peak District. Buxton, with its warm thermal waters bubbling out of the rocks at a constant 27.5 degrees Celsius, must have seemed like a gift from the Gods among the inhospitable cold rain and mud of the British uplands. Like the Britons who inhabited the peak district, the Romans believed that the water was sacred, or enchanted, and dedicated the warm springs to the Celtic goddess Arnemetiae.
Fine Roman pottery, glass and precious coins have been discovered around the town. This suggests that Buxton was an important place for the Romans who treasured and exploited the area for its spring waters.
Although there is no record of the Romans building a bath house over the springs, in 1695 the accidental discovery by Cornelius White, of ‘sheets of lead spread upon great pieces of timber, about 4 yards square round about which had been a leaden cistern,’ suggests that the Romans did indeed build a bath house in Buxton. The location of which can be, approximately, traced to the centre of the Crescent building forecourt.
“About the middle of the Sough a Cistern of of Lead was found two Yards square, and one Foot deep, being four Yards within the Earth, supported by several Oaken Planks: Something higher, in the same Sough, was found a place seven Yards wide, and twenty Yards long, being smooth and even on both sides and at the bottom, two Yards deep in the Earth, and made of Stone.”