Tyne and Wear HER(5125): Gibside Estate, Bath House - Details
Gibside Estate, Bath House
Water Supply and Drainage
George Bowes' first venture into architecture on his estate was to build a bath house. It was a simple classical one-storey building consisting of three rooms with a portico. The small room behind the portico was used as a dressing room. All three rooms had fireplaces. The rooms flanking the portico had sash windows with stone surrounds. The bath house was approximately 47 foot x 15 feet 6 inches. A clearing marks the site of the bath house today. A distant cousin of John Bowes, George Bowes great-grandson, Martha Helen Davidson, sketched the bath house in 1827. Her drawing showed that the bath house stood above a 60 foot cliff, partly retained by stone blocks, with a balustrade to protect the path in front of the bath house. The bath house had been first mentioned in the records in September 1733. By November of that year Joseph Pallister, a carpenter and one of the skilled estate workers, was paid for roofing the bath, and the following May may sashes for it. In 1734 Pallister paid for a piece of leather for the plug at the bath. By November Jon Bickerdike was 'wainscotting and flooring' several rooms of the bath house. Two months later Samuel Clark was putting up a marble chimney was fixing iron rails round the bath. Francesco Vassalli, a Swiss stucco worker, was commissioned to do the plasterwork. The architect of the bath house is not known. Sadly it was destroyed by a landslip in the 19th century.
<< HER 5125 >> M Wills, 1995, Gibside and the Bowes family, p 18-21 W.A. Fairhurst & Partners, 2002, Gibside Estate - Countryside Stewardship Scheme, Restoration and Management