Moseley Road Baths opened on October 30th 1907 at a cost of £32,924. It is the oldest of only three Grade II* Listed swimming baths currently operating in Britain (those at the privately-owned RAC Club in London and The
National Sports Centre at Crystal Palace being the other two). Moseley Road is a window on a lifestyle that was common to millions of Britons at the turn of the 19th century.
Unquestionably one of Birmingham's finest and most treasured buildings, Moseley Road Baths contains several rare or unique features, including:
- The only complete set of pre-war private washing, or 'slipper' baths extant in Britain (46 in total), still with the original oak ticket office and attendants' kiosks largely intact.
- A three-sided spectator gallery and unique balconettes in the Gala (or First Class) Pool as well as the original poolside arched glazed brick dressing boxes.
- A 98ft long Gothic renaissance red brick and terracotta frontage, lavishly embellished and decorated.
- Possibly the only surviving steam-heated drying racks in a British swimming baths, sited in the First Floor laundry room.
- The original 45,000-gallon capacity cast iron cold water storage tank.
Despite this, and Moseley Road Bath's undoubted popularity with swimmers of all ages, the building has suffered from acute neglect over a sustained period of time
to the extent that in 2007 it featured on the Victorian Society's list of the ten most endangered buildings in Britain. Currently, only the smaller pool is
operational, the Gala Pool and 'slipper' baths having closed for safety reasons in 2003 and 2004 respectively.
Its future is now very much in doubt with calls to transfer ownership from local authority control and convert the building, or at least large parts of it,
to uses unconnected with swimming or fitness. The option of a replacement baths in the Balsall Heath district seems unrealistic, for reasons of both
finance and a shortage of available land. Yet Moseley Road Baths is a large building, with much unused and vacant space that has the potential to be converted to uses complimentary to the primary
purpose of swimming.
We hope you enjoy this virtual tour, produced by the Friends of Moseley Road Baths, and that you will support our campaign to restore, retain
and re-open BOTH swimming pools at Moseley Road Baths so that future generations may enjoy this historic public facility just as their predecessors did.
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