Stoke-on-Trent – Stoke Baths

Ernest Warrilow

According to Ernest Warrilow’s Sociological History of the City of Stoke-on-Trent (Etruscan Publications 1960):

About the year 1860 the idea of indoor baths for the Potteries was considered, and at Stoke bazaars and other functions were being held in aid of funds for their construction.

These baths were opened on Tuesday, May 8th, I860, and up to the Thursday night of that week 211 persons had used the swimming baths, which had a temperature of 54 degrees.

The private baths, first and second class, had been used by 70 men and one woman.

The water for these baths was at first from a spring nearby, but as this was insufficient; additional water was obtained from the Stafford­shire Potteries Water Works Company.

These original Baths in Stoke were constructed adjacent to, and as a part of, the Minton Memorial Building.

The stone laying ceremony was recorded in the London Daily News. ‘The new building will contain accommodation for a school of art, free library, museum, savings bank… Adjacent to the building will be a Public Baths towards which Mr Milton contributed the sum of £500.’ (Friday 23rd July 1858)

The Bath Building, which are situated behind the Memorial Building and to have access is gained from another street, there will be first and second class baths for both sexes. A commodious swimming bath with open roof, and a well-lighted, will be included in the bath building, and will be provided with numerous dressing rooms, and all necessary conveniences.’  (Staffordshire Advertiser Saturday 10th July 1858)

Herbert Minton Memorial Building and Library London Road 22nd April 2021 Carl Evans

Staffordshire Advertiser – Saturday 10 July 1858
STOKE-UPON-TRENT – Memorial Building to the Late Herbert Minton, Esq.
The interesting ceremony of laying the first stone of building to perpetuate the memory of the late H. Minton, Esq., whose public services to this district have been generally recognised, and whose private virtues and almost boundless philanthropy will long live in the memories of all to whom he was known—is announced to take place on Wednesday, the 21st inst. The duty has been undertaken by the Right Hon. the Earl Granville.

Library and Herbert Minton Memorial Building 79 London Road 22nd April 2021 Carl Evans

Site of Stoke Baths in Bath Street 22nd April 2021 Carl Evans

Plaque on the front of the Herbert Minton Memorial Library Building 22nd April 2021 Carl Evans

Transfer to the Stoke-upon-Trent Borough Council

A document in the Stoke-on-Trent City Archives entitled The Stoke Baths: 17th and Final Annual Statement dated 5th April 1877 indicates that the establishment was formally transferred to the control of the Stoke-upon-Trent Borough Council.

Agnes Campbell B.A. 1918

According to The Carnegie United Kingdom Trust Report on Public Baths and Wash-Houses in the United Kingdom by Agnes Campbell B.A. 1918,

The establishment was opened in 1870.

Stoke Baths provided the following:
Swimming Baths

54ft x 30ft
42ft x 27ft

Slipper Baths
Male and Female 21

Stoke Baths to the left and the Herbert Minton Library on the right located on Baths Street Source StokeonTrentLive April 2020 Photograph by Bert Bently Stoke-on-Trent City Archives

Workmen inside Stoke Baths Large Swimming Baths during renovations1950’s Source Richard Talbot

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