From the Chronicle:

If you hate cleaning the bath of a weekend, spare a thought for a team of council workers.

They have just spent six hours scrubbing Britain's biggest bath in a rare makeover for a city tourist attraction.

Visitors to the council-run Roman Baths complex were treated to the sight of the Great Bath empty of hot water.

Once it had been drained, staff mineral-rich sediment from the bottom of the pool.

Heritage chiefs at the council wanted to photograph the empty bath as part of interpretation work at the attraction.

The Great Bath is the largest of the pools in the middle of the 2,000-year-old temple and religious bathing complex.

A quarter of a million gallons of hot water normally flow through the baths every day from the thermal spring at the heart of the site, the only natural hot spring in the country.

To drain it, the hot water was diverted through an original Roman overflow, a method of cleaning that has not changed in those 2,000 years.

After the Roman-designed sluice gate was closed, the bath filled up again at the rate of three gallons per second.

The bath is regularly cleaned but rarely is it completely drained.

Stephen Clews, Bath and North East Somerset Council's manager of the baths, said: "We wanted to photograph the Great Bath in order to illustrate stories from the past, so staff were careful to drain it completely on this occasion.

"In Roman days, a formidable team of stonemasons, sculptors, tile-makers and builders must have been drafted in from far and wide by the Romans to construct such an impressive and substantial building.

"We are keen to put stories of the people who lived here 2,000 years ago back into the stones that remain."

The complex is currently undergoing a five-year, £5 million redevelopment.

It is visited by around a million people a year but the council is keen to improve access for the disabled.