Victoria Baths

This splendid Edwardian swimming pools and Turkish bath complex, located in Manchester, went out of use in 1993. Fortunately locals and others campaigned for it to be saved, and restoration is now under way. There's a lot more to do, but the most crucial area, the external structure, has been made sound. I paid a visit on a recent open day.

The Males 1st Class entrance hall features some wonderful ceramics. Needless to say, the 2nd class and female entrances have plainer mosaics and the tiling only goes part way up the wall.

A row of changing booths along the side of the first class males pool

The end wall of the first class males pool features this impressive stained glass window.

... and the crest of Manchester City.

The female pool, and a view from in the deep end.

The second class males pool is currently covered over and used for exhibitions and the like.

The Turkish baths. It is hoped that these could be re-opened, providing a source of revenue for the project.

This corridor has a glass floor to provide illumination for the service corridor below - Here's pictures from above and below. When restoration work began it was found to be covered over, with much of the glass broken.

The chimney for the original coal-fired boilers.

More modern boilers were used until the pools closed in 1993.

The filter room. The tanks on the right contain sand for filtering the pool water. Above our heads is a giant water tank.

Down below, the sloping wall on the right is the side wall of one of the pools.

September 2008

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