Fast Search

You are Here: Home / Shipcote, Alexandra Road, Shipcote Baths and 14, 16 and 18

Tyne and Wear HER(7387): Shipcote, Alexandra Road, Shipcote Baths and 14, 16 and 18 - Details

Back to Search Results



Shipcote, Alexandra Road, Shipcote Baths and 14, 16 and 18



Water Supply and Drainage




Extant Building

A modest architectural gem in brown Flemish bond brickwork, this worthy building still stands stately though now attached to the newer, rather less refined Gateshead Leisure Centre. It radiates the finesse and simple detailing characteristic of its day, with flat roof accentuating the streamlined look, and patterned brickwork embellishing the openings in varied ways. Soldier courses, Flemish Bond arches and 3 dimensional stepped oriels are all featured, with marks of emphasis in stone at key locations: the deep plinth on which the building rests; arches with keystones at entrances; an elegant plaque bearing the Gateshead crest. Numbers 14, 16 and 18 Shipcote Lane continue the theme with the same lines and planes, with domestic sashes replacing the generally larger timber casements with glazing bars (although some have been lost to plastic). The other distinguishing domestic feature is the bold stone door surrounds which create an air of quality and add interest to an otherwise sparing design {1}. A modern pool had been under consideration by the Borough Council since before 1914, but serious planning didn't start until 1931. The first scheme drawn up by H Cook, council architect, had two pools and would have cost £90,000. The building would be Renaissance in style with a domed portico, 32 feet in diameter. Site works started in late 1931 but were soon halted. Building restarted in 1938. The plans had changed and the cost dropped to £35,000. There would be one pool, 100 feet x 40 feet. Shipcote Baths opened on 29 April 1942. The completed building was designed by Fred Patterson, Borough Surveyor. It was a modernist design in brick, stripped of detail, with a single storey flat-roofed entrance block in front of the pool hall. In the 1950s French and Swedish water polo club champions played against Northumberland and Durham. In 1976 a learner pool was added. In 1981 a sports centre was built on the adjoining site, in matching brick, designed by the Borough Architect and opened by the Queen. The two facilities became Gateshead Leisure Centre. In the 1980s internal walls were taken out, natural lighting introduced and a third pool was added, along with a gym, sauna, steam rooms, fitness studios, changing areas, new entrance and reception atrium and café. The architects were S&P Architects, the builders Willmott Dixon. In 2009 the building closed for a year for a £8 million overhaul. The pool reopened in April 2010. LOCAL LIST




Gateshead Council Local List; Lynn Pearson, 2010, Played in Tyne and Wear - Charting the heritage of people at play, p 180-1

Back to Search Results