Victorian Turkish Baths—the book


New information and updates

Sometimes information appearing in the book requires updating because new information has come to light, and it is hoped to try to use this page to add such items as they become available. Material which is not in the book will be regularly added to its complementary website.

This colour is used to show the latest update, added on 19 April 2017

38 At the time of writing I was unable to confirm that Turkish baths had actually been opened in Sligo, and any possible address was unknown. Following references found in Sport and Ireland: a history by Paul Rouse (Oxford: OUP, 2015), we now know that the baths did open. Detailed below under their respective page numbers are changes resulting from this new data.

In Table 6.1, the question mark (?) referring to location should be replaced with: Finisklin Road.
39 At the time of writing, I only had a partial description of the interior of Barter's original baths at Grenville Place/Grenville Quay. I was also unable to determine when the baths closed.

In an 1860 lecture in Cork, later published as a pamphlet, Dr William J Cummins described his own visit to the baths. From this, we now know that the hot rooms were heated to 100-110°F and 140-150°F. There was also a lavatorium where taps 'of hot and cold water open into a large basin, and can be mixed at any temperature,' and a cold douche.

And while I was searching for something quite different I serendipitously came across this advertisement  in the Cork Constitution published on 22 April 1893 which indicates that the baths closed in 1893. However the wording could be taken to mean that they had closed earlier, and then re-opened for a further, probably shortish, period.
 What we cannot know is whether the transfer of the business was formally agreed between the two establishments or whether the ad was placed independently by Alf Jacob, whose South Mall Baths had opened a couple of years earlier.
46 The last paragraph starting in the first column, should be replaced with the following:

The other early baths with which Dr Barter was associated were those in Finisklin Road, Sligo. At the beginning of November 1860, Miss Jane Lyons, eldest daughter of the mayor, laid the foundation stone and, according to Paul Rouse in his Sport and Ireland: a history (Oxford: OUP, 2015), the baths opened in 1861. But there were clearly major problems—possibly financial—and the baths closed a few months later in 1862. We don't know what happened next, but the following year they were already open again, and remained so until they finally closed in 1870.
113 As the location of the Sligo Turkish baths is now known, the question mark (?) referring to its location in Table 12.3 should be replaced with: Finisklin Road.
Newcastle-on-Tyne City Council announced on 23 September 2015 that the Turkish baths, part of the City Pool and City Hall which were closed in April 2013, would now be taken on by Fusion Lifestyle Ltd who would restore and reopen the baths.

A spokesperson for the Reopen Newcastle Turkish Baths Group, which worked with Newcastle City Council, said: 'We are delighted that our voluntary work and campaigning over the last two and half years has been successful in ensuring that the Turkish Baths and City Pool are re-opened as affordable and accessible leisure facilities.'

It is not yet known when the baths are expected to reopen.
212 Hydropathy is only mentioned in the book when it is inseparably linked to the provision of the Victorian Turkish bath or is required as a context for what follows.
Anyone wishing to get a clearer impression of what it was like to stay at an English hydropathic establishment in the nineteenth century is strongly recommended to read the Ben Rhydding chapter in Tim Binding's delightfully unusual and extremely readable On Ilkley Moor: the story of an English town (Picador, 2001).
256 and
The Blue Star Line intends to launch a new liner, the Titanic II in 2018 and has released images showing how the new ship will be an exact replica (in appearance only, it is hoped) of the original Titanic. Here is a computer render of how the Turkish bath cooling-room will look.
Titanic II cooling-room
350 In the index entry for Sligo, the location is now known to be Finisklin Road.
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Victorian Turkish Baths: their origin, development,
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