On the bank holiday weekend, we were lucky to attend a wonderful wedding of friends, at Victoria Baths in Manchester. As well as the wedding, of course, exploring the building was awesome. I have to admit that in my 8 years in Manchester I had never been inside! I am really glad I got the chance to, it’s definitely a not-to-miss place.
The Victoria Baths building was opened in 1906 and was described as “the most splendid municipal bathing institution in the country” – that’s me told. It is a great example of Edwardian glamour. It housed three pools (male first class, male second class, and female), and a Turkish baths.
On the upper floor are rooms such as the Superintendent’s flat, and the spectator seating. It is chock full of amazing tiles, stained glass, terracotta work, and wonderful old wood. It was open until 1993, and then once closed it fell into disrepair. A huge community campaign saved it, and it has been amazingly restored with help from volunteers and various restoration grants. It is still a work in progress but the majority is saved and beautiful.
Here is a little gallery of photos from inside – if you get a chance, go visit! It’s great for a wander but they also do tours – where you find out all the proper history and information (we got a little distracted from the tour so we missed about half….). Victoria Baths also has a tonne of volunteer opportunities if you wanted to get involved. Their site is here for more info.