This is a single frame, printer-friendly page taken from Malcolm Shifrin's website
Victorian Turkish Baths: their origin, development, and gradual decline
Visit the original page to see it complete—with images, notes, and chronologies
Grant for research on colonic irrigation and the bath
The Turkish baths at Royal Leamington Spa's Royal Pump Rooms closed towards the end of the 1970s when the financial loss incurred in continuing them became difficult to justify. The remainder of the baths complex closed a decade or so later in 1989. By the mid 1990s the Turkish baths suite was in an increasingly bad state of repair, parts of it being in such bad condition that demolition appeared to be the only solution. Fortunately, however, when a new museum and library complex was planned for the site, it appeared feasible to retain the structure of the cooling-room. This has now been
beautifully restored as closely as possible to the original design.
But some treatments, such as that carried out in the Plombières Treatment Room (illustrated below) in the 1930s, are no longer practised, and the museum team has sometimes found it difficult to determine what some of the antiquated equipment was used for.
In 2004 the museum received an £1,800 grant from the West Midlands
regional Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) to investigate
such matters as the history of Leamington's use of its Turkish baths and of
treatments such as colonic irrigation which were available at the Royal Pump
Rooms. The grant was also used to catalogue the remaining items of
equipment and prepare them for display.
Alison Plumridge, Senior Curator of the museum, was delighted that the project was supported by the MLA. 'It is vital for us,' she said, 'to record this part of local history.'
Let us hope that where Leamington has paved the way, others will follow.
This page last updated
03 September 2016