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St George's Baths Pier Head




Georges Pier Head Baths 1868


Known as St George’s Baths, the Pier head Baths Liverpool's first publicly funded baths were located on the waterfront and cost £24,481, an a vast amount of money at the time. Additionally  when problems were found with the foundations an further £19,178 was spent.






Designed by John Foster Junior, who was also the architect the Aintree racecourse main stand, they opened on 8 June 1829 and were described on a prospectus as ‘worthy of particular commendation from the casual or critical observer. The walls, rusticated, are finished upwards by a cornice surmounted by a parapet. The roof projects to form two piazzas and is supported by a colonnade of 18 columns. The gentlemen’s baths are behind the north colonnade. The most extensive is... 45 feet by 27.'

The prospectus went on to add,


'A spacious saloon leads to the private warm baths. In the south wing are the ladies baths of which the principal is 39 feet by 27. Four private and two cold baths are annexed to this branch. A reservoir... containing 800 tons of water is immediately under the building, by which means an ample supply of salubrious element will be always at hand. The structure viewed as a whole is chaste and unique, and forms a striking, tasteful addition to the architectural beauties of the town.’








The Pier head Baths stood in front of what is now the Port of Liverpool at their peak the baths were highly sophisticated. River water was diverted into a reservoir, then pumped into heating pans via a filtering apparatus using sand and charcoal. The Baths remained until 1906 when they were demolished.



Pierhead Baths in 1906 prior to demolition




The Baths Committee had intended to build new baths on an adjacent site bordered by Mann Island. But war intervened in 1914 and the plans were mothballed. As a result there have been no baths in the city centre since 1906.




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Sources

Liverpool Central Library
Liverpool Records Office
English Heritage
National Archives


Robert F Edwards
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