KENT STREET BATHS

©  COLIN BAKER   2007                                                                                       

Birmingham’s first Public Bathing Establishment,

The foundation stone laid on 29th October 1849 and opened to the public 12th May 1851. The building was built of red brick with Bath stone mullions, transoms and window sill dressings at a cost of £23,000. The bath’s were supplied with water extracted from the underground springs in the area, these springs caused the builders great difficulties when preparing the ground for the foundations, as the trenches were constantly flooded.

It comprised of sixty-nine private hot and cold water baths, two large swimming baths and three plunge baths, with a public wash-house and laundry consisting of 25 washing stalls, drying horses and other appliances.

In 1897, it was extended further with the addition of Turkish Baths, Male First and Second Class Swimming Baths and Female First and Second Class Private Baths, further extension opened on the 30th March 1914 saw the addition of a Women’s Swimming Bath and  suite’s of Private Baths for Women, this was built adjoining the main building and located in Gooch Street.

In 1930, the old Kent Street Baths were demolished, with the exception of the Women’s Bath in Gooch Street and the building was rebuilt. It was opened on 29th May 1933 and comprised of a Gala Swimming Bath, suites of Private Baths, Turkish and Russian Baths.

During an air raid on the 3rd December 1940, it suffered a direct hit which destroyed the Gala Bath.

In September 2009, the building was demolished after lying disused for many years, it is now a car park.

Plunge Bath and Shampoo Rooms

The Lounge