Swimming Baths, Clifden Road

Brentford Swimming Baths

Clifden Road

Swimming baths built in 1895, now part residential, part vacant needing extensive work.

Grade II Statutory Listed.

On English Heritage “At Risk” Register

In St Paul’s Conservation Area.

English Heritage Listing

Public baths. 1895-6 by T Nowell Parr (District Surveyor) for Brentford Urban District Council, builder J Barnes; later additions and alterations.

Entrance elevation and right return block of red brick in Flemish bond with ashlar dressings; otherwise stock brick in Flemish bond with red brick dressings. Welsh slate roofs. Red brick chimneys. Plinth with roll-moulded coping.   Entrance elevation: one storey; 4 bays, progressively stepped forward (from left) and having door, window, door, window, the entrance bays narrower. The doors are in internal porches which have ashlar architraves with imposts and keyed archivolts with ashlar panels over (now cemented) and, inside, half-glazed panelled double doors with overlights which have wooden mullions and transoms and leaded, coloured, glazing.

The windows are of 3 lights, the central lights taller and with keyed round arches, and have glazing bars; coloured, leaded, glass to overlights of side-lights; corniced ashlar architraves with capitalled pilasters and central pediments inscribed ‘PUBLIC’ ‘BATHS’. Below each window the pilasters descend to plinth and flank central foundation and opening date- stones. Gabled roofs run back behind window bays and have ridge louvres broken by chimneys. Set back at centre is tall pediment of pool roof which has lunette with glazing bars. Set back on left is gabled boiler house with small-pane oculus, stepped eaves, glazed ridge louvre, and to rear left the tapering square chimney which has an arched recess to each side.

Right return: 2-storey, 4-bay block, believed to be former council committee rooms, projects on right. Its left bay has wide, raised, elliptical archway to internal porch, with later door. Bay 3 projects slightly and has half-glazed door and fanlight in keyed archivolt. 2-light small-pane windows in pilastered architraves with cornices to ground floor.

On first floor, windows alternately set below segmental pediments and finialled gables. Interior: original doors with leaded coloured glass; womens slipper baths, to front right, retain 2 baths; superintendant’s office, committee room (to centre front) has original fireplace with decorative tile surround; plainer fireplace, cupboards and drawers to ticket office behind. Pool extended at deep end, with original rear wall broken through; original wooden gallery to each side; braced steel trusses. Mens slipper baths converted to gymnasium. Former laundry to rear left. Former council office block has decorative cornices and plaster ceilings.

English Heritage “At Risk”

Public baths and swimming pool 1895-96. Closed 1990. Sold by London Borough of Hounslow in November 1998. Interiors in reasonable condition. Planning permission and listed building consent were granted on appeal in July 2011 for change of use to live-work units.

Designed by Nowell Parr and contract with J Barnes of Brentford for building (£4,850). Foundation stone laid 1895 by James Bigwood the local MP.

Swimming bath 92’x 42’ – water area 75’x 27’ – white glazed brick – 6’6’’ at the deep end and 3’3’’ at the shallow end. 24 first class dressing boxes on one side and 32 second class along the other side of the bath with a gallery along both sides.

The water was not heated in the 1970s.

Arrangements originally made for slipper baths (first and second class), a shower bath, boiler house, washing house, laundry and drying room.

It would seem to have been used as a dance hall – presumably boarded over – in the 1920s and later.

Home of Brentford Swimming Club. Closed 1990. Written history in Chiswick Library Local Studies.

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2 thoughts on “Brentford Swimming Baths

  1. spent a lot of time here got my swimming certifacate hot water wash sat mornings went to the school brentford senior lived in the flats ealing road alma house moved away 1950 aged 17 to national service lost touch with most another strip of time good luck to all still a round my age 86 [bunger]

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