Brighton Resort – Six Swimming Pools within half a mile…
On sites NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, WEST! listed here
SS Swimming Stadium 1934
“The biggest indoor sea-water swimming stadium in the World!”
The pool was 165ft X 60ft and cost £80,000 to build. It was built in similar fashion to the Derby Baths Blackpool, very symmetrical in appearance and with a tiled facia. The interior was nautically designed mainly due to a series of ships named SS Brighton at the time.
Hard as it may sound, despite the beauty of the pool it wasn’t a commercial success for swimming and just only 15 months year later it was turned into an ice-rink and the famous Brighton Tigers Hockey Team was nurtured. Sadly the team disbanded in 1967 through lack of venue for training.
SS Swimming Stadium had been known as the SS Sports Stadium
during this time period, and was a well known venue for Party Conferences and many other sporting events.
OUTCOME: The last Political Party Conference was held just a few days before it closed in 1965 and sadly demolished in 1966. A Family Assurance Company now stands on the site.
North Road Baths – 1895
The public individual baths stood on the old barracks site old Barrack Yard which opened in 1895. The adjacent old pool nearby measured 120 feet by 33 feet and was home to Brighton Swimming Club.
It was initially open to men and women on separate days only.
The way to the pool was through an Archway from North Street which exists today albeit now a square “Archway.”
OUTCOME: The old Baths were a landmark for 84 years closing in November 1979 to make way for the Prince Regent Leisure Centre
Royal Artillery Baths – Royal Hobden Baths – 1813
These baths were established in 1813 as the Artillery and Battery
These have a very interesting history that take us up to the present day. They were rebuilt in 1865 a couple of years after the Grand Hotel was completed, and looked as picture left. The magnificent Baths being adjacent to the Grand Hotel had direct access to the Hotel, and were used until 1908. They had very noble dimensions.
OUTCOME: The baths were demolished in 1908. The site became the Ballroom of the now Empress Suite. Many conferences and balls are held on top of the pool site right up to the present day 2012. The Baths are commemorated by Hobdens Health Hydro in the Grand.
The arrow in the picture shows the extension part to the Grand Hotel that was the adjoining 5 storey high building of Royal Hobden
Brill Baths – 1823
These were originally opened by Mr Lamprell at the south-east corner of East Street in a circular domed building 53 ft across and nicknamed “the bunion”. Inside was the first communal swimming bath, as opposed to baths for personal bathing.
In 1865 the bunion was removed after Mr Charles Brill nephew of Mr Lamprell inherited the Baths.
Between Pool Valley and East Street he created a new Ladies Sea Water Bath and a circular Gentlemans Bath which was the largest in Europe at the time, being 65 feet across and holding 80,000 gallons of sea water which was brought in from Hove, as Brighton’s water was considered polluted. The building also had cold water baths, vapour baths, medical douche, a barber and reading and billiard rooms.
The Ladies Bath was built on the site of Dr John Awsiters Baths, (the original Brighton Baths) Pool Valley near East Street where it was advocated that drinking sea water and bathing protected the infirm and fragile.
It was a small single storey classical building and there were 6 cold baths, a hot bath, a showering bath, and a sweating bath. The sea-water was supplied for a Pump House that stood on a groyne in front of the baths until Grand Union Road was constructed. The baths eventually passed into the hands of a Mr Wood who added another storey, and then on to a Mr Creak. They were demolished when Charles Brill Baths were extended.
OUTCOME: The popularity of bathing declined and in 1929 the Brill Baths were demolished and the Savoy Cinema was erected.
The Savoy that went on to become the Cannon Cinema. Eventually pictures houses lost their popularity but the building today exists. It has been turned into eating places and restaurants at street level.
Picture – possible location of Mens and Ladies Baths, the latter being successor to Dr Johns Awsiters
Mahomed Baths – 1786
The oldest baths on this website, opened in Kings Road. They were Vapour/Turkish Baths, the first in the country.
A massaging service was performed by an attendant through flannel sleeves in a tent like cover. They became very well known after successful cures, and the walls were hung with the cast off crutches of cured patients!
The patients entered the building by a discreet canopied stairway outside the building.
Mahomed published many books and was eventually appointed as “Shampooing Surgeon” to King George IV.
A good example for all his knowledge and practices were proven by living until 102 years of age. Mr Knight took over the Mahommed Baths in 1841, and were later taken by Charles Brill
OUTCOME: The Queens Hotel.
At present the blue print and some of the exterior framework of the building occupy an Aquarium and perched on the end a Harvestors