Ramsden Street Baths, Huddersfield

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  • previously known as: Apollo Gymnasium and Gymnasium Hall
  • also known as: Central Baths, Central Wards Baths
  • location: Ramsden Street, Huddersfield
  • status: no longer exists
  • category: sport

The former Gymnasium Hall was converted by the Huddersfield Public Baths Co. Ltd. into public baths in 1879 to a design by architect Arthur Smith of Queen Street which featured a pool measuring 79 feet by 26 feet. Thomas Broadbent of Chapel Hill carried out the engineering work and the masons were Messrs. Stead & Crowther. The baths were opened on Tuesday 1 July 1879 by Colonel Thomas Brooke.[1]

Unfortunately the baths ran at a reported annual loss of around £300 and the Huddersfield Public Baths Co. Ltd. went into liquidation after failing to sell the premises at auction in August 1887.

Following the success of the Lockwood Public Baths, the Ramsden Street Baths were purchased by Huddersfield Corporation in 1888 for £2,000 and refurbished. The new main pool measured 26 yards by 8 yards, with separate slipper baths[2] for men and women. Until a filtration system was in installed in 1917, the baths operated a system of "clean days" in which the pool was emptied, cleaned and refilled. The popularity of the baths led to the building of Cambridge Road Baths in the late 1920s.

The Ramsden Street Baths closed in the 1960s and are believed to have been demolished in 1971.[3]


  • 9 August 1893 — Ernest Williams (aged 15) of Kidroyd drowned, possibly after suffering a fit.[4]
  • August 1909 — John William Watson (aged 11), son of Elizabeth Watson of Albion Street, drowned.[5]

Further Reading


Notes and References

  1. "Opening of the New Swimming Baths" in Huddersfield Chronicle (05/Jul/1879).
  2. Slipper baths allowed those without a bathroom in their own house to bathe and wash. As home bathrooms became more commonplace, their popularity declined.
  3. At Your Service: One Hundred Years of the Huddersfield Corporation (1968), pages 4-5.
  4. "Boy Drowned in Huddersfield Baths" in Yorkshire Evening Post (09/Aug/1893).
  5. "Boys at Swimming Baths" in Manchester Courier (27/Aug/1909).