« VorigeDoorgaan »
minute. The temperature of the water at the depth above mentioned is 104° F.; that of the bath generally, 96o or 98° F.
The present edifice was erected from plans by Mr. Baldwin, in 1790. On the southern side there was a figure of Bladud in alto relievo. In the centre of the bath, there formerly stood an elaborate structure surmounted by a cross, which was erected by John Drummond, Earl of Melfort, Secretary of State to James II., in commemoration of the Queen, (Mary of Modena,) having used this bath, with happy results, in 1688. Around the bath are arranged thirteen convenient dressingrooms, and a small common one, with closets adjoining. Bathers bring towels with them, or they are supplied by the attendant, for which there is a small additional charge. This bath was in former days much used by the gentry frequenting the city, and the following account gives a description of how they bathed in it :-"In the morning, the young lady is brought in a close chair, dressed in her bathing clothes, to the Cross Bath. There the music plays her into the bath, and the women who tend her present her with a little floating wooden dish, like a bason; into which the lady puts an handkerchief and a nosegay, and of late years a snuff-box and smelling bottle are added. She then traverses the bath, if a novice, with a guide; if otherwise, by herself; and having amused herself near an hour, calls for the chair,
'The figure was designed by W. Hoare and sculptured by B. Baron. At present it is lying in the lobby of the Hot Baths, and so far is but little injured. Presumably, it will occupy its former, or, at any rate, a suitable place in the Bath, when the alterations and restoration are completed.
2 This cross has been removed, and, it is to be feared, altogether lost. It should be mentioned that some antiquaries have stated that Lord Melfort's Cross was the successor of an older cross, and it was so. In 1675, Mr. W. Coo, of Grandford, Northamptonshire, by way of a thank-offering, put a bordure of lead round the old cross, to sustain it, and it must have been very ancient. When the new cross was set up the old one was removed.
and returns to her lodgings." 1 The bath has been recently repaired and improved and made one-third larger under the supervision of the city architect. The reservoir has been much enlarged, after the removal of the accumulated rubbish of centuries. After penetrating down to the Roman spring, in order to bring the Waters to the required level, similar arrangements are adopted to those in the King's Bath.
THE ROYAL PRIVATE AND HOT BATHS.
Immediately opposite to the old Hetling Pump Room are the Royal Private Baths and the Hot Bath.
The Hot Bath, which is an open bath, is situated in the centre of the Royal Private Baths. The entrance to it is at the southern end of Hot Bath Street. This bath is of an octagonal form and its architectural embellishments are well deserving of notice. At the four corners of the bath there are small seats for the bathers, and there is also a douche pump on its northern side. The temperature of the spring, which rises seventeen feet below the pavement of the bath, is 120° F., while the temperature of the water varies in different parts from 105° F. to 102° F. The spring yields one hogshead and a-half of water a minute, and supplies the Royal Private Baths, as well as the Hot Bath, and also a bath in the Bath United Hospital, in its immediate vicinity. When full the Hot Bath is computed to contain about 9,570 gallons of water, having a depth of four feet and a half.
THE ROYAL PRIVATE BATHS AND DOUCHE.
The chief approach to these baths is under a semi-circular covered way, from an entrance at the northern end of Hot Bath Street, opposite to the Hetling Pump Room. four principal Baths.
"A Tour through the whole Island of Great Britain," by Defoe, The sixth edition was edited by Richardson, the novelist.
The first, the BLADUD or MARBLE BATH, is a small bath, somewhat approaching in form to a reclining bath, lined and paved with marble, the surrounding space being laid down with encaustic tiles, and the rest of the bath-room decorated in keeping with its own arrangements. There is a dressing-room adjoining it, with every requisite convenience. The door, which closes in the latter room, separates it and the bath room from the rest of the building. The second, or ALFRED'S BATH, contains, when filled, 724 gallons of water, with a depth of four feet and a-half, and has a dressing-room attached to it. Adjoining this room is another dressing room communicating with a DOUCHE ROOM, having all the necessary arrangements for the use of the douche, the water from which is discharged by a pressure equal to six pounds on the square inch. Beyond this is a dressing room, connected with the third or CHAIR BATH, containing an arm-chair, attached to a crane, by means of which a helpless invalid can safely be let down into and raised up from the bath. This bath, when filled, contains 702 gallons of water, with a depth of four feet and a-half. Adjoining this bath is a dressing-room, having in it a SHOWER BATH. This room is also connected with a small chamber, containing the Lavement apparatus and ascending douche.
THE PRIVATE BATHS.
Adjoining the last-mentioned room is the fourth, or EDWIN'S BATH, which, when filled, contains 716 gallons of water, and has a depth of four feet and a-half. Attached to it are a dressing room and douche apparati.
All the above-mentioned baths in this establishment have arrangements in them for the use of the douche.
Near this bath is a small lobby leading into a corridor, at the upper end of which is a room containing a large Reclining Bath.
TEPID SWIMMING BATH.
By turning to the right, after leaving the last-mentioned
bath, a passage leads to the large Tepid Swimming Bath, which was built in 1829, after a design by Mr. Decimus Burton. Its form is an oval of sixty-two feet by twenty-three feet. On the eastern side are arranged six small dressing rooms, and one large common dressing room. From each of these rooms a flight of steps leads into the bath, which contains about 37,225 gallons of water, and is four and a-half feet deep. The water is supplied from the spring in the King's Bath, and from the cold water reservoir; its temperature is 88° Fahr. The bath is lighted during the daytime by windows at the side, and from above by three lantern domes, with openings to the external air; at night the dressing rooms and the bath are lighted by gas. There is a separate entrance to this bath through the Piazza in Bath Street, opposite St. Catherine's Hospital.
THE ROYAL PRIVATE BATHS.
The ground plan of these baths—which are attached to and form part of, the Grand Pump Room Hotel-is a long parallelogram, divided in the centre by a corridor lighted at the top, with baths and dressing rooms arranged on either side. There six bath rooms, are each fifteen feet long by eleven feet and a-half high. The baths—which in form resemble those of the King's and Queen's Baths-are of a T shape, and measure, in length, 7 ft. 2 in., and at the broadest part 10 ft., and 4 ft. 8 in. deep. They are sunk beneath the level of the bath room, and are entered by a flight of Sicilian marble steps. The baths are lined, and the floors laid, with buff-coloured glazed tiles.
To each bath room, a dressing room is attached, eight feet wide, eleven feet and a-half long, and twelve feet high, with a water-closet adjoining.
There are three reclining baths. tains 150 gallons of mineral water. closets are attached to these baths.
Each, when filled, conDressing rooms and water
There are two dry douche baths, with dressing rooms and water closets attached. There are also an enema apparatus and a vapour bath.
The swimming bath is at the end of the corridor. It is a magnificent bath, of enormous capacity, sumptuously appointed, and may fairly challenge comparison with any similar bath in the world, It is lighted from above by means of an open iron and glass roof. Attached to this bath are five dressing rooms, each eight feet square and nine feet high. There is also a large dressing room, sixteen feet in width and seventeen feet in length, reserved for the use of ladies.
There is a communication on the basement with the King's and Queen's Private and Public Baths, by means of a tunnel running under the street, so that there is a ready access to these baths.
There is, also, a communication from the Pump Room Hotel, on the ground floor, with the entrance lobby of these suites of baths, and a lift, by means of which infirm invalids can be brought down from the landings of the Hotel to a level with the corridor, through which, in a merlin chair, an invalid may be wheeled to the baths or douches. The Hotel and the suite of Baths reflect no little credit upon the architects, Messrs. Wilson and Willcox, by whom they were built in 1870.
THE EXTENSION OF THE KING'S AND QUEEN'S Baths. During the past three and-a-half centuries (a period which represents, at any rate, with comparative accuracy, what may be called the Modern History of the Waters of Bath, and the Bathing system connected with them), the greatest progress and development have marked the past twenty years. There used to be an expression much in vogue, forty years ago, that "the waters had seen their best days;" this, like many other proverbial expressions, had neither force nor truth in it, and for the same reason, namely, because it was used in ignorance. From the time when good Queen Elizabeth, in the vicinity of the King's Bath, declared to the Mayor, Aldermen, and