Monday, 19 April 2010

Restored London swimming baths.

Two beautifully restored historic London swimming baths are due to reopen for public use this summer. The first, Marshall Street Baths in Soho, a marble-lined, Deco pool with stunning vaulted roof, was built in 1928 and has been closed for more than a decade. Here it is in its abandoned state.


Here it is in 1934, being used to audition water nymphs for the pantomime Cinderella. I can't wait to go along for an inaugural swim, possibly in a most modest swimming costume with bathing hat.


St Pancras Baths, now known as Kentish Town Sports Centre, was built by Thomas Aldwinckle in 1900. It had four pools that you could use according to your social status and gender: first and second-class, two for men and two for women, complete with their own entrances, which still remain. The restored Victorian roof – which I used to swim under and was home to pigeons and covered with net, in case of falling masonry – promises to look stunning.


The pool being used for a concert in 1901.



The men's second class entrance.



An external shot of the building in 1901. More great pictures of the baths, here.



[Images with thanks to Camden Photos Zak Ezzati and A Hudson.]

9 comments:

  1. I am so excited about these- especially soho as I work near here. I love that the Lidos, baths and old pools of every kind are being rescued now- I used to go to one when i was little and I just loved it so much, they really are important

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  2. Pretty awesome :) xx

    http://hopechella.blogspot.com/

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  3. Oh I used to go swimming at Marshall Street Baths - good news that it's opening again!

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  4. oh wow! these are old swimming pools?? freaky but stunning at the same time!

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  5. A concert in a pool! Love it.

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  6. Amazing old buildings - so glad they weren't pulled down or blitzed. Really love the photo of the bathing beauties - more graceful days now gone.

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  7. These swimming pools are so beautiful. I remember an article in the Guardian about all swimming pools - great architecture!

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  8. Love old baths, really great post !!!

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  9. I can't wait for Marshall St to reopen, perfect for a dip after work!

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