Stalybridge Baths

Stalybridge "Old" Baths
Stalybridge Baths

From memory the “old” baths were on Corporation Street,  where Tesco’s car park is now. The architects were Henry Paull and George Robinson (who also designed The Old Baths in Ashton Under Lyne.)

The Public Baths were a gift to Stalybridge by Mr and Mrs Robert Platt.  The Foundation Stone was laid October 24, 1868, and they were opened May 7th, 1870. They cost £7,000 and Mrs Platt also presented an endowment for maintenance expenses. The Platt’s seemed like nice people from what I have read about them and they did a phenomenal amount for the their employees and for the town in general.

Stalybridge "old" Baths - Close up of the detail on the stonework over the door
Stalybridge “old” Baths – Close up of the detail on the stonework over the door

From the Stalybridge yearbook 1904 I can see there were two large swimming pools and also 20 individual private baths as most of the houses in Stalybridge at the time did not have bathrooms. In fact as late as 1980 my gran’s old terrace didn’t have a bathroom…just an outside toilet and a tin bath that could be brought inside and used on special occasions…

The chimney looks massive, apparently it was pretty scientific for its day as the smoke-shaft was constructed with a hollow chamber round the central smoke flue which ventilated the baths and swimming pools; not quite air con but pretty good for the 1800’s.

The old swimming baths were replaced by Copley Recreation Centre on Huddersfield Road and the building was then demolished.

A few quotes from a recent social media post will give you an idea of what a visit to the baths was  like. Do you remember…”having to wear a swim hat” “walking through the foot bath” “wire basket clothes hangers with a number on for your clothes”  “Swimming Galas” “Oxo and crackers” “dodgy chicken soup” “biscuits from the Market to eat on the way home”….

Please leave a comment if you have memories of Stalybridge Baths you want to share.

Stalybridge Old Baths in the distance. Photo taken from Trinity Street Bridge.
Stalybridge Old Baths in the distance. Photo taken from Trinity Street Bridge.