Birmingham – Monument Road Baths

The following is taken directly from The City of Birmingham Baths Department 1851 – 1951. The work was written and compiled by J. Moth M.N.A.B.S Birmingham 1951 and is presented here.

Monument Road Baths SketchThe question of providing bathing facilities in the Northwest district of the City arose in 1867, but it was not until 1877 that a site in Monument Road was acquired.

The erection of the building was commenced early in 1881 and on the 27th February, 1883, the Monument Road Baths was opened.

A contemporary description of the premises is interesting;

“The front elevation of these baths is in the picturesque style of Gothic architecture and is built with red pressed bricks, interspersed with red terra-cotta dressings, mouldings and string courses; the doors and window openings are also faced with terra-cotta, with sunk panels over each, and carved water lilies or other floral designs introduced, giving a very pretty and handsome appearance to the whole facade.”

Old Monument Road BathsTwenty-one years had elapsed since the erection of the last bathing establishment in the City and the speeches at the opening ceremony stressed not only the fact that the new Baths were as up to date as any in the country, but that further establishments should be erected in other parts of the City.

Monument Road Baths BoilersThe Monument Road Baths offered First and Second Class Swimming Baths, suites of First and Second Class Men’s and Women’s Private Baths and Turkish Baths, and due to its situation in a convenient part of the City, it rapidly attracted attendances which were only exceeded by those at Kent Street.

Just prior to the outbreak of the Second World War, it was decided to demolish the Monument Road Baths and to erect on the same site a modern establishment which would carry on the traditions of the previous fifty years. The area of the new building, however, had to be restricted due to the new building line for Monument Road, with the result that it was only possible to provide one Swimming Bath. There are no Turkish Baths in the new building but excellent suites of Private Baths are installed and the new Monument Road Baths, which were opened on the 27th June, 1940, attracts even more patrons than in previous years.

 

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