The indoor baths

The indoor baths

The 1800 Counting House of Wherry Mine.
Photographed at demolition 1935.
Picture donated by Robin Meek.
This was incorporated into Oliver Caldwell's Baths at the end of the promenade.
Read comments discussion below.
This is not an elevation that I have seen before, and will need a bit of research to tie it in; however, the site looks as if it is demolition, rather than construction; it will need some digging through papers.
I am not entirely sure it is baths? The writing on the back of the picture mentions Bedford Bolitho Gardens; it is just that the garden walls resembled the old garden walls of the summer gardens that were swept away in Ash Weds storm.
The writing on the back of the picture mentions Bedford Bolitho Gardens. how can you see behind this picture?
The building shows on the 1875 OS, opposite the old sawmills, a few yards to the west of the present Indian Restaurant (was an Inn). I will see what else I can find, as it looks to be about 1830. The balcony shows on the OS. So it is neither the Sea Water Baths or the ones that are buried. Foster Bolitho Gardens were formed in 1896 for the Queen Victoria Jubilee 1897. The Bedford Bolitho Gardens were formed around 1915 from the land that resulted from the demolition of the Serpentine Factory before 1912, when it was given to the town by Bedford Bolitho. On that site were shown a Corn Store and Volunteer Drill Hall, as well as two major buildings which appear to have been a grand house, and from there on were the cottages, to match those on the Beachfield side.
The swimming baths were at the end of the promenade with an entrance near the end steps,the baths were filled in and the old sea wall demolished and rebuilt to seaward. Before the ash wednesday storm I believe this building was used by the PZ sailing club inside it had some wonderfull wood work and inner door that I heard came from an old luxery liner there was also a lot of mosaic work there...when the prom was being rebuilt an old bottle factory was unearthed near to the river...this may help Treeve a little !!!
There was an earlier sea bath on the sea front before 1840, (before the prom) demolished 1883, and another (Baths by Caldwell 1887, demolished in 1935 and I have found pictures of that, as well as the Royal Baths on the promenade); I do not know anything about the ones by the old Coastguard station (though I have been told a little from a family member who owned a lot of Wherrytown), so I an very grateful for any information on that. Thank you.
The old swimming baths at Wherrytown was kept a a static water tank during the war years there was another tank (elevated) on the prom opposite the bottem of Cornwall Terrace which held several million gallons of the wet stuff...
The Bedford Bolitho Gardens had scallop like shelters backing on to Wherrytown I remember as a child a Tom Leslie had a sort of vaudville show there during the summer months, Wherrytown was a busy place in those days with Harvey s saw mills and thier massive horses often bringing whole tree trunks across the prom from the harbour..
I can remember the shelters before the sea took them; this all fits with the Wherrytown mine, as well, as the cottages either side of the road were built from the stone of the old enginehouse and stack, and the smithy. I am beginning to think the house shown was the property of the owner, that would fit very well as far as dating was concerned. More on that when I get deep in the mine!
Got it ... this was the Counting House of the Wherry Mine, when the mine closed in 1838, was turned into a dwelling and then sold off to be used by the residence of the commander of the coastguard. I will have to scout through again as the only map the Caldwell Baths will show on will be the 1908. But this is the Old Counting House, Wherrytown, probably dates from 1800.
The photograph is 1935, when the Cafe Marina and Pool was being demolished - note the pneumatic compressor; I see a worker taking apart a window on the left; This, I believe was then called the Bijou House, and served as an access to the baths; there is a sign over the door BATH . Just looked at a 1908 map in comparison with the 1875, and I am positive this is the Counting House, Oliver Caldwell was extremely well ordered and handled classic designs and motifs in his own inimitable way, but these motifs are much older. The building to the right is not the work of Oliver Caldwell. It all looks very European Renaissance/Alpine with some very odd overtones.

Media information

Date unknown
Added by
Date added
View count
Comment count
0.00 star(s) 0 ratings

Share this media

Top Bottom