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Thread: Liverpool's First Public Baths

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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Default Liverpool's First Public Baths

    I recently bought a watercolour painting described as the 'Old Bathing Houses, Liverpool'. The description on the reverse (which I've also scanned below) says 'taken down in 1811', and then signed by, what looks like, 'J. Pervise, Oct. 1821'. He may be the artist or the original owner of the painting?

    I've attached an extract of George perry's 1769 map of Liverpool [LRO] - the Baths can be seen on the extreme left-hand side where the river wall kicks back to the main shoreline. They were located in the middle of the later built Princes Dock quayside, Bath Street.


    Old Bathing Houses, Liverpool [Original watercolour]




    George Perry's Map of Liverpool, 1769 [LRO]


    ADVERTISING


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    Hi Dazza,
    that's an interesting pic',and maybe the origin of the public baths,in these,as it's roughly the same location?

    (pic's courtesy of L.R.O.)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Great info and pics Dazza, just what the site has been missing, brill post.
    www.inacityliving.piczo.com/

    Updated weekly with old and new pics.

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    Keeping It Real !!!!!!!!! ItsaZappathing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ged View Post
    Great info and pics Dazza, just what the site has been missing, brill post.
    Yep, I would go along with that Ged.
    Good post Dazza.

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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Thanks for your warm comments guys. It's much appreciated ... good to be back.

    Steve, great photo of George's Baths. It looks as though it was taken from the Pier Head Landing Stage? It was designed by John Foster and opened in 1829. I've highlighted the site of George's Baths with a 'blue' rectangle on the maps below, [courtesy of LRO, and The Liverpool Guide]. The site of the Bathing Houses featured in the painting is highlighted by the 'red' circle.

    "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."... ... ... Mark Twain.

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    The reverse view of the baths, also in 1906.



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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Hi Ged, great image, many thanks!

    I've since learned that John Foster's George's baths (opened 1829) replaced the Bathing Houses (shown in the painting) - which Liverpool Corporation purchased back in 1796 for £4000. The Bathing Houses are recorded on Eyes' 1765 map, though were built some years earlier. They remained in use until 1816, when the first stone for Princes' Dock was laid. About the same time a Floating Bath was launched, on the 11th June 1816, which was moored nearly opposite George's Dock parade. Presumably, this was used until George's Baths (pictured) was opened 13 years later.

    The Bathing Houses (painting) provided a ring-fenced, open-air enclosure, for high-tide salt-water bathing. It's location was close to the North Shore, which was a celebrated stretch of beach, used for salt-water bathing. Women and men bathed separately within the fenced enclosure; women on the right-side of the painting, and men on the left. The adjoined houses provided a series of covered pools which were filled with filtered, salt-water; both hot and cold.
    "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."... ... ... Mark Twain.

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    Now that's what I call research and a detailed account worth waiting for. Thanks dazza.
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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    You're very welcome Ged, thanks. It's been interesting finding out more detail on something I knew next to nothing about. It could have been painted from the old fort, which was located a short distance away?
    "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."... ... ... Mark Twain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dazza View Post
    You're very welcome Ged, thanks. It's been interesting finding out more detail on something I knew next to nothing about. It could have been painted from the old fort, which was located a short distance away?
    Great stuff Dazza......any pic's of the old fort?

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    Interesting information, maps, and illustrations, Daz, wsteve55, and Ged!

    I'd also be interested to see a picture of the fort.

    In Richard Brooke's Liverpool As It Was During the Last Quarter of the Eighteenth Century, pp. 365-367, it's noted that in 1779 the "best proof gunpowder" be lodged in the "Magazines" on the Cheshire shore and to be removed in sufficient quantities for use at "the New Fort and St. George's Battery" in case of an attack by the American privateersman John Paul Jones.

    Chris
    Christopher T. George
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    Editor, Loch Raven Review
    http://christophertgeorge.blogspot.com/
    Chris on Flickr and on MySpace

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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Hi Chris, thanks for your comments.

    The Fort: I haven't come across a picture of it yet, but I'm sure one will exist, as it stood on the site from 1781-1820. It was equiped with 'eighteen and thirty-two pounders', source: also Richard Brooke's Liverpool As It Was During the Last Quarter of the Eighteenth Century, pp.371. Also, Dr William Moss, writing in, The Liverpool Guide, goes further to say that 'a strong guard of soldiers is always kept here. It is open for public recreation...[affording]...a very adventageous view down the river...from which point the rock point may be very distinctly observed'. pp.83

    There was also an ealrlier battery kept on a raised section of ground, west [and adjoining] St. Nicholas Churches graveyard (see map).


    [1848 OS map, courtesy of LRO]
    "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."... ... ... Mark Twain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGeorge View Post
    Interesting information, maps, and illustrations, Daz, wsteve55, and Ged!

    I'd also be interested to see a picture of the fort.

    In Richard Brooke's Liverpool As It Was During the Last Quarter of the Eighteenth Century, pp. 365-367, it's noted that in 1779 the "best proof gunpowder" be lodged in the "Magazines" on the Cheshire shore and to be removed in sufficient quantities for use at "the New Fort and St. George's Battery" in case of an attack by the American privateersman John Paul Jones.

    Chris
    More history to learn...

    I never realized that John Paul Jones was attacking British ships in the Irish sea and raiding ports...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Paul_Jones

    The arming of a fort in Liverpool seems like a wise move, I just never realised who the forts were intended to defend against. As a kid, the French instantly came to mind....

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    Quote Originally Posted by az_gila View Post
    More history to learn...

    I never realized that John Paul Jones was attacking British ships in the Irish sea and raiding ports...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Paul_Jones

    The arming of a fort in Liverpool seems like a wise move, I just never realised who the forts were intended to defend against. As a kid, the French instantly came to mind....
    Hi AZ and Daz

    Yes as you will have read, John Paul Jones attacked Whitehaven in present-day Cumbria and so ports around Britain were on the alert for any further attacks. There is an interesting story about J P Jones's corpse, buried for a long time in a Paris cemetery and brought back to the U.S. in the early 20th century. He is now buried in a grand tomb in the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis. If you either of you ever get to Maryland it's worth a visit, and I would be pleased to show you around!

    Daz, thanks for the map. Something tells me I have seen an illustration of the fort but my mind may be playing tricks!

    Also as regards the "bathing houses" I wonder if these were not more like huts or bathing machines rather than the more substantial "baths" at St. George's Dock?

    All interesting stuff....

    Cheers

    Chris
    Christopher T. George
    Editor, Ripperologist
    Editor, Loch Raven Review
    http://christophertgeorge.blogspot.com/
    Chris on Flickr and on MySpace

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    Senior Member az_gila's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGeorge View Post
    ..... There is an interesting story about J P Jones's corpse, buried for a long time in a Paris cemetery and brought back to the U.S. in the early 20th century. He is now buried in a grand tomb in the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis. If you either of you ever get to Maryland it's worth a visit, and I would be pleased to show you around!
    ......All interesting stuff....

    Cheers

    Chris
    I'll put it on my list. The Navy Academy Chapel is way different from the contempary US Air Force Academy Chapel in Colorado.

    John Paul Jones tomb is the height of Victoriana...


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