Victoria Baths, Manchester :: Shared Description

Opened in 1906 by the Lord Mayor of Manchester who described it as a 'water palace of which every citizen of Manchester is proud', The Victoria Baths on Hathersage Road in Chorlton-on-Medlock were designed as a prestigious baths complex by Manchester's first City Architect, Henry Price back in 1902. No expense was spared in the design and construction of the Baths, 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 including the famous Angel of Purity.

For 86 years, until its closure in 1993, the Victoria Baths provided both essential and leisure facilities. At the time of opening, few of the houses in the area had bathrooms so its 64 slipper baths or 'wash baths' were an important amenity and, between 1906 and 1993, Victoria Baths were used by thousands of people for swimming, bathing, washing, dancing and relaxing. The pool was the breeding ground for numerous swimming champions.

However changing social conditions and patterns of leisure activities meant the Baths were less well-used and, as the Baths were expensive to run Manchester City Council could no longer justify (or afford) the costs to keep the building open and functioning and they were closed on 13 March 1993 despite local protests.

Ten years later, Manchester’s Victoria Baths won £3m of Heritage Lottery funding through the first BBC TV “Restoration” programme. Thousands of viewers voted for the beautiful building, now widely recognised as the most intact and lavish example of municipal swimming pool architecture in the country, to receive the funding and an additional £2million has been raised by the Victoria Baths Trust.

The building, now in the process of being restored to its former glory, is a Grade II* listed building (English Heritage Building ID: 388171 LinkExternal link British Listed Buildings)

Further information:
LinkExternal link Victoria Baths website
LinkExternal link BBC Manchester
LinkExternal link Daily Mail online
by David Dixon
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45 images use this description. Preview sample shown below:

SJ8595 : Terracotta Crest, Victoria Baths by David Dixon
SJ8595 : Chimney at Victoria Baths by David Dixon
SJ8595 : Sunny Lowry by David Dixon
SJ8595 : Victoria Baths, Males 1st Class/Gala Pool by David Dixon
SJ8595 : Stained Glass Panel, Victoria Baths by David Dixon
SJ8595 : The Angel of Purity Window by David Dixon
SJ8595 : Victoria Baths, Stairs and Landing to Males 1st Class Pool by David Dixon
SJ8595 : Victoria Baths' Angel of Purity by David Dixon
SJ8595 : Victoria Baths, Entrance to Gala Pool Gallery by David Dixon
SJ8595 : Victoria Baths (rear) by David Dixon
SJ8595 : Sunrise Window, Turkish Baths Rest Room by David Dixon
SJ8595 : Males 1st Class Entrance Hall by David Dixon
SJ8595 : Victoria Baths Males 1st Class Pool (Roof and Stained Glass Window) by David Dixon
SJ8595 : Cast Iron Changing Cubicles, Victoria Baths by David Dixon
SJ8595 : Manchester Victoria Baths by David Dixon
SJ8595 : The Clocktower, Victoria Baths by David Dixon
SJ8595 : Committee Room, Victoria Baths by David Dixon
SJ8595 : Angel of Purity Window, Victoria Baths by David Dixon
SJ8595 : Manchester Victoria Baths by David Dixon
SJ8595 : Yard Behind Victoria Baths, Manchester by David Dixon
SJ8595 : Males 1st Class/Gala Pool, Victoria Baths by David Dixon
SJ8595 : Turkish Bath by David Dixon
SJ8595 : Manchester's "Water Palace", Victoria Baths by David Dixon
SJ8595 : Females' Changing Cubicles, Victoria Baths by David Dixon
SJ8595 : Victoria Baths, Landing Outside Gala Pool by David Dixon

... and 20 more images.

These Shared Descriptions are common to multiple images. For example, you can create a generic description for an object shown in a photo, and reuse the description on all photos of the object. All descriptions are public and shared between contributors, i.e. you can reuse a description created by others, just as they can use yours.
Created: Fri, 2 May 2014, Updated: Thu, 27 Aug 2015

The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2014 David Dixon, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.

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