Victoria Baths

Last updated
Victoria Baths
VictoriaBaths.jpg
Victoria Baths, Manchester
Greater Manchester UK location map 2.svg
Red pog.svg
Location within Greater Manchester
General information
Town or cityManchester
CountryEngland
Coordinates 53°27′36″N2°12′58″W / 53.46°N 2.216°W / 53.46; -2.216 Coordinates: 53°27′36″N2°12′58″W / 53.46°N 2.216°W / 53.46; -2.216
Completed1906 (1906)
Cost£59,144 [1]
Client Manchester Corporation
Designations Grade II* listed

Victoria Baths is a Grade II* listed building, [2] in the Chorlton-on-Medlock area of Manchester, in northwest England. The Baths opened to the public in 1906 and cost £59,144 to build. Manchester City Council closed the baths in 1993 and the building was left empty. A multimillion-pound restoration project began in 2007. As of 2009, the building is on English Heritage's Heritage at Risk Register. [3]

Contents

History

Stalls surrounding the main pool in 2011 Victoria Baths Stalls.JPG
Stalls surrounding the main pool in 2011
Stained glass window in the Turkish Baths Victoria Baths Window.JPG
Stained glass window in the Turkish Baths

The baths were designed by the City Surveyor, T. de Courcy Meade, and his assistant, Arthur Davies. The work was supervised by Henry Price, the newly appointed city architect.[ citation needed ] The baths were opened in September 1906 by the Lord Mayor of Manchester who described the building as a "water palace". [4] For 86 years the Baths provided both essential and leisure facilities. Private baths and a laundry were housed there along with three swimming pools and a Turkish bath, later a Sauna was added. The main swimming pool was floored over in the winter months to hold dances. In 1952 the Victoria Baths installed the first public Aeratone (jacuzzi) in the country.

In the design and construction of the Baths, a great deal of money was expended, Manchester having at that time one of the world's wealthiest municipal coffers. The façade has multi-coloured brickwork and terracotta decoration, the main interior public spaces are clad in glazed tiles from floor to ceiling and most of the many windows have decorative stained glass.

The Baths were closed by Manchester City Council in 1993. [4] The Friends of Victoria Baths was formed and began to investigate the possibility of running the Victoria Baths independently.

Various fund-raising attempts failed to bring about a restoration of the Baths, although work to prevent further deterioration of the building started in 1998.

Restoration

The interior in 2010 Victoria Baths interior, 2010 (4).jpg
The interior in 2010

In September 2003, the Baths won the first series of the BBC's Restoration programme. The building was chosen by a public phone-vote from a short-list of ten buildings in danger of dereliction in the UK. It was awarded £3.4 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the money raised through the phone-voting process. [5] The Prince of Wales visited the baths a month later to help celebrate the win. [6]

It was intended that the money would be spent on re-opening the Turkish bath by around 2006, with other parts following later at a cost of around £15–20m. [7] However, the redevelopment plans were dealt a blow one year later when quantity surveyors delivered a much larger estimate of £6.3m to restore the Turkish baths. The Heritage Lottery Fund requested further details about the full redevelopment before they would hand over any money for the first phase. [8] Final planning approval to begin a restoration process was not received until September 2005.[ citation needed ]

In September 2006, as part of a number of events to mark the centenary of the building's opening, the gala pool was filled for the first time in 13 years. [9] [10]

The first phase of restoration work consisting of structural work and repairs began on Monday 19 March 2007, [11] and was completed in September 2008. [12] In 2011 the Baths were used as a filming location, [13] a concert venue, [14] and an exhibition centre. [15] On 16 April 2017, the baths were once again reopened for an invite only acid house dance pool party hosted by Boiler Room; The Warehouse Project; and Fac 51 The Warehouse. This was called "The Other Side of Midnight". The event was also live streamed on YouTube, the video is unlisted.

See also

Related Research Articles

Restoration was a set of BBC television series where viewers decided on which listed building that was in immediate need of remedial works was to win a grant from Heritage Lottery Fund. It first aired in 2003.

London Road Fire Station, Manchester

London Road Fire Station is a former fire station in Manchester, England. It was opened in 1906, on a site bounded by London Road, Whitworth Street, Minshull Street South and Fairfield Street. Designed in the Edwardian Baroque style by Woodhouse, Willoughby and Langham in red brick and terracotta, it cost £142,000 to build and was built by J. Gerrard and Sons of Swinton. It has been a Grade II* listed building since 1974.

Public bathing buildings equipped with swimming pools and other facilities for bathing and swimming, traditionally the primary hygienic facility in a city or town

Public baths originated from a communal need for cleanliness at a time when most people did not have access to private bathing facilities. The term "public" is not completely accurate, as some types of public baths are restricted depending on membership, gender, religious affiliation, or other reasons. As societies have changed, the need for public baths has reduced: dwellings now have their own private bathroom. Public baths have also become incorporated into the social system as meeting places. As the title suggests, public bathing does not refer only to bathing. In ancient times public bathing included saunas, massages and relaxation therapies, comparable to today's spas.

Grand Central Stockport retail, entertainment and leisure complex in Stockport, Greater Manchester

Grand Central Stockport is a retail, entertainment and leisure complex in Stockport, Greater Manchester. It is adjacent to Stockport railway station and the complex first opened in 1991. Since then it has included various leisure facilities such as a multiplex cinema, a swimming pool, a Cineworld Cinema a bowling alley, a gym, a Quasar complex, and various food outlets. As of 2013, the area is being redeveloped and only half of the development is still open, including the pool, along with some other businesses. The remainder of the complex nightclub and cinema has been demolished in preparation for a new multi-storey car park and office complex.

Public Library and Baths, Balsall Heath public library in Balsall Heath

The Public Library and Baths on Moseley Road, Balsall Heath, form one of many pairings of baths and libraries in Birmingham, England.

Birmingham Baths Committee

The Birmingham Baths Committee was a Birmingham City Council-run organisation responsible for the provision and maintenance of public swimming and bathing facilities within the Birmingham boundaries in England. They constructed bathing facilities within Birmingham through funding by the council.

Tepid Baths indoor swimming pool in New Zealand

The Tepid Baths is a public indoor pool complex in Auckland, New Zealand. The baths opened in 1914 on a site that had previously been occupied by a small drydock and were very well-received by the public, with the new baths attracting 30,000 visitors in the first two months after opening. In 2010 the baths closed for a major refurbishment, re-opening in mid-2012 after a two year re-build.

Forest Hill Pools

Forest Hill Pools is a leisure centre in Forest Hill, London. After being closed in 2006, it was rebuilt including two pools and a health and fitness suite and reopened in September 2012. It is located close to Forest Hill railway station, Forest Hill Library and Sydenham School.

84 Plymouth Grove Museum in Manchester

84 Plymouth Grove, now known as Elizabeth Gaskell's House, is a writer's house museum in Manchester. The Grade II* listed neoclassical villa was the residence of William and Elizabeth Gaskell from 1850 till their deaths in 1884 and 1865 respectively. The Gaskell household continued to occupy the villa after the deaths of Elizabeth and William. The death of Elizabeth Gaskell's daughter, Margaret Emily "Meta" Gaskell, in 1913, brought to an end the Gaskells' residence there.

Henry Price (architect) British architect

John Henry Price – more commonly referred to as Henry Price – was the first person to hold the office of 'City Architect' in Manchester Corporation's newly created City Architect's Department of 1902. He was responsible for a number of well known Manchester landmarks, and is credited with influencing the design of other buildings constructed during his tenure, such as Manchester Fire Station.

Upper Brook Street Chapel, Manchester church in Manchester, UK

The Upper Brook Street Chapel, also known as the Islamic Academy, the Unitarian Chapel and the Welsh Baptist Chapel, is a former chapel with an attached Sunday School on the east side of Upper Brook Street, Chorlton-on-Medlock, Greater Manchester, England. It is said to be the first neogothic Nonconformist chapel, having been constructed for the British Unitarians between 1837 and 1839, at the very beginning of the reign of Queen Victoria. It was designed by Sir Charles Barry, later architect of the Palace of Westminster.

Kings Meadow swimming pool

King's Meadow swimming pool or Thames Lido is an open-air swimming pool or lido located in King's Meadow in Reading, Berkshire. It was first opened to the public in 1903 as the Ladies Swimming Bath and is believed to be the oldest surviving outdoor municipal pool of a similar early Edwardian era. In August 2004, as a result of a campaign, the building was awarded Grade II listed building status. It re-opened in 2017 after three years of restoration.

Played in Britain

Played in Britain is a ten-year research project for English Heritage which seeks to record and celebrate Britain's sporting and recreational heritage, coinciding with the period from the staging of the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester to the 2012 Olympics. Much of the research has been made publicly available in a series of books, also called Played in Britain, featuring historic buildings and sportscapes. The series also looks at sporting artefacts and archaeology.

Cleveland Pools

Cleveland Pools located in Hampton Row, Bath, Somerset, England is a semi-circular lido built to designs by John Pinch the elder in 1815. It is believed to be the oldest public outdoor swimming pool in England. It is a Grade II* listed building.

Saltdean Lido

Saltdean Lido at Saltdean Park Road, Saltdean, in the city of Brighton and Hove, is an Art Deco lido designed by architect R.W.H. Jones. Originally listed at Grade II by English Heritage for its architectural and historical importance, its status was upgraded further to "Grade II*" on 18 March 2011.

Dulwich Public Baths Southwark, Greater London, SE22

Dulwich Public Baths is a swimming pool and gym in Dulwich, South London. It opened in 1892, and is London's oldest public baths to have remained in continuous operation. The baths are listed Grade II on the National Heritage List for England.

New Islington Human settlement in England

New Islington is an inner city area of Manchester, in North West England. Historically in Lancashire and part of Ancoats, it has taken a separate identity to reflect its changed status as a regeneration area.

History of lidos in the United Kingdom

The golden age of lidos in the United Kingdom was in the 1930s, when outdoor swimming became popular, and 169 were built across the UK as recreational facilities by local councils. Many lidos closed when foreign holidays became less expensive, but those that remain have a dedicated following.

Harold Holt Memorial Swimming Centre swimming centre in Melbourne, Australia

The Harold Holt Memorial Swimming Centre is a public swimming pool complex located on the corner of High Street & Edgar Street, Glen Iris, Melbourne, Australia. Built in the 1960s by Australian architects Kevin Borland and Daryl Jackson, the Swimming Centre is considered to be a fine example of Brutalist architecture. Originally built as a municipal swimming baths, in 1927, the facilities were renovated in 1967 by Borland and Jackson to accommodate for higher swimming participation numbers. It is named in honour of Prime Minister Harold Holt, whose drowning death was announced during its construction and who was the local member of parliament.

References

  1. History, Victoria Baths, 22 May 2008, retrieved 31 January 2010
  2. Victoria Baths With Attached Forecourt Walls, Heritage Gateway, retrieved 29 March 2012
  3. Heritage At Risk Register 2009 – North West (PDF), English Heritage, 2009, p. 54, retrieved 31 January 2010
  4. 1 2 Baths need £2.5m for restoration, BBC News, 9 August 2004, retrieved 17 November 2010
  5. Baths win £3.4m Restoration final, BBC News, 14 September 2003, retrieved 17 November 2010
  6. Snowdon, Neal (25 October 2003), "Baths get the prince's seal", Manchester Evening News
  7. Ottewell, David (30 December 2003), "Big splash for saved baths may take years", Manchester Evening News
  8. Tapp, Blaise (9 August 2004), "Blow to 'saved' baths", Manchester Evening News
  9. Frame, Don (19 September 2006), "Victoria Baths fills up with water", Manchester Evening News, retrieved 17 November 2010
  10. Rooth, Ben (7 September 2006), "Water way to celebrate baths' 100th birthday", Manchester Evening News, retrieved 17 November 2010
  11. Baths restoration gets under way, BBC News, 19 March 2007, retrieved 17 November 2010
  12. Baths restoration moves forward, BBC News, 17 September 2008, retrieved 17 November 2010
  13. Bourne, Dianne (27 January 2011), "Will Young's spooky new drama Bedlam filmed in Manchester", Manchester Evening News, MEN Media, retrieved 29 March 2012
  14. "Water music: Victoria Baths provide unusual backdrop for concert", Manchester Evening News, MEN Media, 19 May 2011, retrieved 29 March 2012
  15. "Take the plunge: Swimwear exhibtion[sic] at Victoria Baths", Manchester Evening News, MEN Media, 2 April 2011, retrieved 29 March 2012

Further reading