The first indication of the 3rd temple's existence appears in the work of the 3rdcentury author Solinus. Writing of Britain he describes the hot springs, evidently at Bath, which he says are presided over by Minerva, in whose temple burns a perpetual fire. The work of Solinus was known to Geoffrey of Monmouth, from whom the idea of the existence of the temple passed into the minds of medieval historians. By the time of the later topographers, Camden, Guidott and Stukeley, the tradition was firmly established and it was further believed that the Temple lay beneath the Abbey church.
The first major archaeological discoveries were made in the autumn of 1790, when the western part of the Pump Room, fronting on to Stall Street, was rebuilt [I]. The new foundations, dug to a depth of 12 ft., were laid upon a Roman pavement and during the work a large quantity of sculptured stonework was recovered, including parts of two major monuments, the Pediment and the Faqade of the Four Seasons. In addition a flight of steps was noted, but no precise details or locations were recorded. Englefield, who visited the works at the time, informs us that on the Roman structures 'the foundation of the present new buildings is laid; and it will of course be for a long time covered from future excavations' . In December 1964. during the recent series of research excavations,. the steps and part of the paving were again uncovered.