In the southwest part of Greenwich Park, tucked behind hedges, fences, and a rather large and slightly obstructive sign, are the remains of a Georgian bath. This was once part of the long-since demolished Montague House, the residence of the woman who would later in life be Queen of the United Kingdom.
Princess Caroline of Brunswick married Prince George in 1795. It was a marriage of convenience, as it conveniently brought George a lot of money. The prince had already married, though that union was deemed illegal, and he was not keen at all on his new bride. He thought Caroline to be unattractive and unhygienic, and decided the only way to get through the wedding was to be incredibly drunk.
After one year of marriage and one child, Caroline was deemed by her husband to have served her purpose, and the couple became separated for the rest of Caroline’s life. In 1801, she moved into Montague House in Greenwich, where she held many wild parties, and, according to much rumor, orgies. It was during her residency that the bath was installed in a glasshouse accessed through a door from the main building.
While living in Montague House, Caroline was rumored to have had many liaisons with admirals, captains, and politicians. Though she was cleared of adultery by a royal commission, her behavior was said to be open to “unfavorable interpretations.” Unhappy with her life in England, Caroline went into exile in Italy in 1814. George, now Prince Regent and rid of his unwanted wife, ordered Montague house to be demolished.
Hidden beneath paving and flower beds for many years, the sunken bath was rediscovered first in 1909, covered once more in the 1980s, then fully excavated and restored in 2001.
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