Public Swimming Baths and Wash Houses
Personal cleanliness was encouraged through the provision of public baths and wash houses. Indeed Liverpool was a pioneer in this field. Before 1794, there were no baths in Liverpool, but in that year the Corporation bought a private bathing establishment at the end of New Quay, on Bath Street. In 1820 these baths were removed, but in 1822 the council began building another bathhouse which was completed and opened next to George?s Dock in 1828. In 1842 a municipal establishment affordable to the poor was opened. This is said to have followed an example set by Catherine (Kitty) Wilkinson who allowed the poor to use her kitchen for washing clothes and bedding during the 1832 cholera epidemic. Her actions were supported by the philanthropists Mr. and Mrs. William Rathbone. The popularity of Kitty?s
?wash house? showed that there was a real need for washing facilities for the poor. The Council thus made the decision to build public wash houses.
The first public wash house was built in Upper Frederick Street and was the first public baths and wash house in England. Another one was opened in Burroughs Gardens in 1879, and others were built shortly after this. In 1895 the first open-air bath was opened in Burlington Street. This was so popular that three others were built in the City. Then in 1902 the first people?s bath was opened, which was to be used only for cleansing purposes and was not for use as a swimming pool.
1) Burroughs Gardens Wash House 1952
2) Burroughs Gardens Wash House 1958
3) Clare Street Baths Washing Machines 1951
4) Clare Street Baths Washing Machines 1956
5) Garston Baths 1959
6) Inside Walton Baths Ready for Performance 1932
7) Lister Drive Baths no date
8) Pier Head Baths 1906
9) Queens Drive Open Air Baths 1961
10) Walton Baths 1912