Victorian Turkish Baths Picture of the Month for June 2005

Bland's Cliff Turkish Baths, Scarborough

Contemporary image of Bland's Cliff Turkish Baths

The seawater baths were originally opened in 1859 by the Scarborough Public Bath Company Limited. Only later were the Turkish baths opened after the building was enlarged in 1863. The extension included 'a complete and separate Suite of Rooms for Ladies and Gentlemen, price 2s 6d each Bath.'

The building, designed by Josiah Fairbank, 'brought more than a touch of the mystic East to Scarborough's sea front, with its Moorish arches, red-and-white brickwork, and mosque-like water tower crowned with a dome. Entrance was direct from the sands—the Scarborough Foreshore Road was not constructed until 1879.' 1

This later photograph (below) shows the new road which, though setting the baths back further from the beach, still leaves them clearly in view for quite a distance.

Bland's baths: 2

The baths company managed to survive until February 1904, when the premises were sold for £4,250. The Chairman was reported as saying that 'the old baths had got about worn out' and that he was 'very pleased they had finally done with it'.

In fact the baths continued to be used, under a different ownership, until around 1931, although it is not yet known whether the Turkish baths remained open until the other baths closed.

The photograph below, taken in the mid 1990s, shows all that remained of Bland's Cliff Public Baths at that time.

Bland's Cliff Turkish bath in the mid 1990s
< Photo: Shifrin

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 1. 'Bland's Cliff Baths' / by B Berryman     Scarborough Mercury     (27 Feb 1971)   [return]