Thursday, 7 July 2011

Victoria Baths

Last weekend I went to the Victoria Baths in Manchester as they had a vintage fair on, I have always wanted to see the Baths and thought this was an excellent opportunity to see it. Here is a little history about it:

The Baths opened in 1906, no expense was spared, and today you can still see the rich terracotta, decorative stained glass, and sumptuous tiles and mosaics.

For 86 years, Victoria Baths served the community with its three swimming pools, Turkish Baths, laundry, slipper baths and Aeratone. Since closing in 1993, the building has remained remarkably intact and is listed grade II.

In 2003 it won the BBC2's first Restoration series, and a dedicated group of volunteers work tirelessly towards the common goal of returning the building to its former glory. Victoria Baths is a public restoration work in progress. 

Not only were the baths absolutely beautiful, the entrance was only £2.50 (gift aid price) complete with a free tour. I was so mesmerised by the building that I was not anticipating much from the vintage stalls, but I was so wrong! I will show you my finds as well. 

The Aeratone

Believe it or not The Aeratone is a therapeutic bath, not a device for Dr. Frankenstein, apparently it has been a favourite of sports men over the years. 

Ladies changing cubicles, apparently the men's stalls did not come with doors, how very rude.

A pianist playing in one of the empty pools, so surreal yet enchanting! 

A full length shot of my dress, excuse the facial expression, I was trying to get my boyfriend to take it in a hurry so I would not look too weird to the other visitors, posing next to fireplaces.

I would like this in my house

Victoria Baths Polo Team 1906

The Senior Ladies of Victoria Swimming Club 1919

For those who live in the North West there is another fair on the 2nd October, I urge you to go, not just for the clothes but for this beautiful historic place.

Images of swimming teams found here, history of Victoria Baths on the website.


  1. Amazing place, I need to go there! Thanks for sharing.

  2. What gorgeous pictures especially of all the stained glass - its lovely! I remember seeing this place on the restoration programme - good to see what it's like these days!

  3. Wow wow wow! That place is a dream and so is your dress. :) xxx

  4. Oooh, lovely building! Thanks for sharing these pictures. I love old swimming baths. There seems to be a bit of a renaissance going on with these early 20th century baths. I know of two or three in London that are being restored and upgraded to be brought back into use, which can only be a good thing!

  5. I NEED to live there. Now.

    Thank you so much for this post. I love abandoned buildings (not that this place seems abandoned, just not re-done) and used to be heavily in to urban exploration, especially of abandoned hospitals, asylums and schools. I once managed to get into the Haggerston bathhouse in Hackney and it was the most magical two hours of my life.. To see such an opulent anachronism striped of life and languishing like that is both heart-wrenching and deeply inspiring. You look incredible in that yellow dress.. Like a glamorous ghost.

  6. Wow!!! That place looks like such a treat to explore, and the piano player in the empty pool is so strange and wonderful!
    And I second Tea For Two's "glamorous ghost" comparison, you look stunning!

  7. Garofit: Thank you, and thanks for following, it is very much appreciated.

    Rachael: The windows were beautiful, I have not seen the restoration programme think I will try and find it online.

    Kelly Marie: It is magical, I have been wearing the dress a lot it is a new favourite x

    Miss Marie: It is my pleasure, it is good to hear that there are other bath restorations in the works.

    Tea for Two: Thank you so much for your sweet comment. I love abandoned buildings too, it is such a shame that a lot of them are left to ruin. Last year I wandered near Barnes Hospital, which is an amazing place, you do not feel like you’re in the present going round such places. Hah I love the glamorous ghost analogy! X

    Dakota: It was a brilliant place to wander around such a privilege, and thank you for the sweet comment especially come from such a beauty as yourself! x