Tyne and Wear HER(6865): Newcastle, Bath Lane, Public Baths - Details
Newcastle, Bath Lane, Public Baths
Health and Welfare
Shown but not named on Hutton's plan of Newcastle 1770. Named on plan of 1827. A public bath house in extensive gardens. The baths were built in 1781, opening on 1 May. They consisted of medicated vapour baths, tepid and enclosed cold baths and a large open bath for swimming. The water supply for the baths came from the Skinner Burn. The sinking of a mine shaft at Helmsley Main disrupted the water supply to the baths and parts of them were closed down in the 1820s. They were demolished by 1860. This was Newcastle's earliest baths. Entry would have only been for subscribers, at a typical price of a minimum of one shilling, which was too expensive for the majority of people. The baths were designed by William Craneson. They were commissioned by a Dr Hall and two surgeons, Henry Gibson and R Bryan Abbs. The baths were 'elegantly and completely fitted up' with separate cold plunge baths for ladies and gentlemen and a mineral water 'Buxton Bath'. The large open swimming bath was outside in the garden.
<< HER 6865 >> C. Hutton, 1770, A plan of Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead; E & W Books Limited, 1807, The Picture of Newcastle upon Tyne; M. Barke and R.J. Buswell (eds), 1980, Historical Atlas of Newcastle upon Tyne; R.J. Charleton, 1885, Newcastle Town; Northern Archaeological Associates, 2004, No. 47, Bath Lane, Newcastle - Archaeological Assessment and Building Recording; Jack and John Leslie, 2003, Down our streets - Newcastle's street names explored, p 19; Lynn Pearson, 2010, Played in Tyne and Wear - charting the heritage of people at play, pp 168-9