This month Turkish Baths Harrogate will mark a historic milestone celebrating 125 years of perfecting the art of relaxation.
Originally opened 23 July 1897 by The Duke of Cambridge Prince George, the Royal Baths were built by Baggalley & Bristowe of London at the cost of £120,000 on the site of the old Montpellier Baths.
Water was pumped to the baths from several different springs, with treatments for conditions such as rheumatism, arthritis and sciatica being offered.
Facilities available during the baths’ Victorian heyday, included dispensing of medicinal waters, hydrotherapy departments, mud baths and steam rooms as well as consulting doctors.
The baths were popular with members of royal families from around the world and a particular favourite of Queen Victoria’s granddaughters – Princess Alix and Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine.
Although Turkish Baths were common in Victorian times, only seven remain dating back to the 19th century. None is as historically complete and in full working order as Turkish Baths Harrogate.
Their importance lies in their decoration, elaboration and rarity. The baths’ Moorish design with Islamic arches and screens, walls of vibrant glazed brickwork, arabesque painted ceilings and terrazzo floors all add to its historic elegant features.
In 2018, Harrogate Borough Council carried out a £300,000 investment project to further enhance the unique historic character of the Grade II* listed building, while upgrading facilities to ensure it continues to thrive into the future. During the project, previously hidden spaces were discovered to reveal ornate vaulted ceilings and a tiled area which was brought into use to offer traditional hammam treatments, for the first time in decades.
Today, the baths are a popular destination for visitors and locals alike and continue to offer their unique heat experience with the addition of modern spa treatments to complement and enhance the customer experience.
Mark Tweedie, manager director of Brimhams Active, said: “Maintaining good health and wellbeing is vital, and at Turkish Baths Harrogate you can enjoy a unique regime of relaxation and rejuvenation.
“Our customers often tell us they feel exhilarated, euphoric and have a sense of total relaxation after a session at the baths. And what an incredible facility to be able to do so.”
Further information about Turkish Baths Harrogate can be found online at: www.turkishbathsharrogate.co.uk.