History  

 

Date Event
1795                  Sydney Gardens opens
1801                  Bathwick Water Act prohibits nude bathing in the river
1815                 Financed by public subscription, the first pool (with accompanying buildings) opens as a simple diversion of the river 
1818                 Cleveland Pools first depicted on Barratt’s Map
1817-19            Hampton Row built by John Pinch the Elder
1823                 Further land acquired, between Pools and Hampton Row
1827                 Pools sold to the Reverend Dr. Race Godfrey for £350, refurbished and re-opened to include the Ladies’ Pool with its “Perpetual Shower Bath”
1839                 Brunel’s Great Western railway reaches Bath
1852-61            Upper pool constructed
1867                 The eccentric Mr.W. Evans in charge of the Pools, teaching swimming and providing ginger beer and gingerbread. His party trick is to dive into the pool from a great height, wearing a tall hat to protect his head
1869                 Public bathing place opens at Darlington Wharf
1875-78            Cleveland Row built
1886                 Ordnance Survey map shows main pool cut off from the river inlet, with a sluice gate to the outlet
1898-99            Pools close briefly due to the bankruptcy of the owners of the time, Bath College Company of Grosvenor Place
1900                 Bath Corporation’s Waterworks Committee buys Pools for £100 to replace Darlington Wharf bathing place
1901                 Pools open to the public after some refurbishment, free for a short time. A strict set of rules is in place, enforced by a resident Superintendent, the first of whom is Samuel Inkerman Bailey, a former diver with the Royal Navy
1904-10            Eastern extension to lower pool constructed
1941                 Upper pool used for immersion baptism by Jehovah’s Witnesses
1951                 Ordnance Survey map shows all connection with the river closed
1967                 Bath Spa Committee takes over management from Waterworks Committee, and at about this time the main pool is given a concrete floor and the semi-circular cascade is constructed at its eastern end
1978                 Despite a petition with over 1,000 signatures, the Pools close
1982                 A private company attempts to re-open the Pools, but fails
1983-84            Pools briefly re-open during closure of the pool at the Sports Centre
1984                 Pools finally close for bathing, become a trout farm, then a private residence
2003                 Now unoccupied, the Pools are put up for sale by Bath and North East Somerset Council, and the Cleveland Pools Trust is formed to rescue them for public swimming once again
2014                 Funding received from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Bath and North East Somerset Council to begin the restoration process

A list of the original subscribers to the Cleveland Baths when they opened in 1815 is contained in this downloadable file