Building Name

Leaf Street Baths, Hulme

Date
1859 - 1860
Street
Leaf Street
District/Town
Hulme, Manchester
County/Country
GMCA, England
Client
Manchester and Salford Baths and Laundries Company
Work
New Build

BATHS AND WASHHOUSES FOR HULME – The Manchester and Salford Baths and Laundries Company are about to extend the usefulness of their undertaking by erecting new baths and washhouses in Stretford New Road, opposite Holy Trinity Church, on the site where the old Chorlton Union workhouse recently stood, and which has just been purchased for the purpose. When completed, this will make the fourth establishment of its kind in Manchester and its immediate neighbourhood. [Manchester Courier 13 September 1856 page 7]

BATHS AND LAUNDRIES IN HULME – Operations have now been commenced for the erection of a third establishment for the Manchester and Salford Baths and Laundries Company; the site selected being part of that on which the old Chorlton Union Workhouse stood, close to Stretford New Road, Hulme, and which is bounded by Leaf Street and Devonshire Street. The new establishment will be larger and more comprehensive than the one in Mayfield, which somewhat exceeded that which was first erected in Greengate, Salford; and it will also combine improvements in details, suggested by practical experience to the Directors and to Mr T Worthington, architect to the Company.  … The principal front of the building which will be in Leaf Street, will be Veronese or Lombardic in style; the façade being 114 feet long, and the depth of the building about 117 feet 6 inches. The front will be of two storeys, with an attic storey added in the centre, to form the dwelling-rooms of the superintendent; and the effect, from the combination of materials (brick, Halifax stone and red tile) promises to be decidedly good. There will be two plunge or swimming baths, each 75 feet by 25 feet, or 11 feet longer than those in Mayfield and 21 feet longer than those in Greengate. The first class baths will have attached to it 40 dressing rooms; the second class will have 66 stalls. Around each there will be an open iron gallery, giving access to the warm bathrooms; and the interior of each place will have an open timbered roof, somewhat resembling in principal those of the two existing establishments. But the ceilings will be plastered, which will add to the satisfaction of bathers by the more agreeable reflection in the water. Altogether there will be more than 60 warm bath apartments; including first and second class for each sex (the charges being 6d and 2d) and seven private baths in larger and more comfortable rooms, for which one shilling will be charged. There will also be two sets of rooms for Turkish baths; one for general use, as at the private establishment in Broughton, the other set being smaller and intended for use by a single person only. The wash-houses and laundry will face Devonshire Street, but stand some distance back from it; the building for them being 60 feet long by 27 feet 6 inches wide. There will be 20 washing compartments (a smaller number than at either of the other establishments); but two bays will be appropriated to four washing machines driven by a small engine; some of Manlove’s hydro-extractors or wringing machines being also provided. The drying chambers will contain 64 “horses;” and the contemplated arrangements for drying will effect that process much more speedily than at present – elderly women who use the existing baths thinking 20 minutes much too long to wait in these “fast” days. To get rid as far as possible of the annoyance from steam, an arrangement is intended by which the steam will be drawn into an underground flue, and thence into a space in the great chimney surrounding the core for the passage of smoke from the furnaces. There will be two large boilers and a small engine; and the great chimney will rise to a total height of 113 feet, e steam from the wash-houses and the general results of ventilation by the flue being discharged through openings 100 feet from the ground, and the smoke being carried 13 feet higher, through a continuation of the chimney considerably less in size than the main shaft below. Throughout the building, the utmost care seems to have been taken by Mr Worthington, the architect, to secure effective ventilation, perfect water-tight arrangements around all the baths, and the most convenient means for carrying on the varied operations of the establishment. The general contractor for the building is Mr R Neill of Strangeways, who is to finish his work by next May. The cost, exclusive of land, will be between £11,000 and £12,000. [Manchester Guardian 7 July 1859 page 3]

PUBLIC BATHS AND LAUNDRIES, HULME – The third establishment erected by the Manchester and Salford Public Baths and Laundries Company, and which is situated in Leaf Street, close to Stretford New Road, Hulme, was yesterday opened for the inspection of subscribers; and today it will be open to the public, so far as the swimming and warm baths for men and boys are concerned; the opening of the women’s baths and the laundry department will not long be delayed, as all the work is near completion. The new establishment is admirably situated, both for Hulme and Chorlton-on-Medlock, the baths entrances being within some 30 or forty yards of the tower end of Holy Trinity Church.

Description based on details given by Thomas Worthington in July 1859:- The bathing accommodation is greater than at Mayfield, which being the second built by the Company somewhat exceeded the original in Greengate, Salford; but the washing and laundry department is somewhat less extensive than at either of the other places, although it is believed that it will not be less effective, consequent upon the introduction of Manlove’s hydro-extractors and other improved machinery. Indeed there is scarcely a detail in the new establishment which experience at the other two which has not led the architect himself to improve, or which he has not improved upon suggestion from the Directors or their superintendents. The two swimming baths are each 75 feet long by 25 feet wide; or 11 feet longer than at Mayfield and 21 feet longer than at Greengate. Improvements have been made for filtering the water; more means of ventilation have been added; the ceilings have been plastered and lightened so as to do away entirely with the depressing effect of plunging into water in a place at all partaking of the gloomy; and the 40 dressing rooms in the 6d department (or first class bath) seem to possess every requisite for airy comfort. The warm baths here to which access is gained as before by a gallery surrounding the bath hall, and having a open metalwork front, are large and most substantially and comfortably fitted; but for those who prefer them, and prefer to pay 1 shilling instead of sixpence, there are seven bathrooms of a still better description in the matter of fittings, some of the rooms having fireplaces for use in winter. The second class plunge bath (two pence each), is fitted with 66 stalls; and altogether the establishment will offer accommodation for 60 persons, each in his or her own warm bath, and each with every essential for privacy and comfort, while the plunge baths will allow scores to be swimming or splashing about merrily. Of course the introduction of Turkish baths has not been overlooked, and the rooms provided will allow of visitors undergoing that delightful process of cleansing, either alone or in company, as at private establishments. Of the was houses and laundries we may speak when that department is completed. The principal front of the building is in Leaf Street and is Veronese or Lombardic in character; the effect, whether as regards the principal lines or the combination of materials uses (brick, Halifax stone and red tile), being neat and pleasant. There is a great chimney, 113 feet high, comprising a core for the smoke etc. from the furnaces, and an outer casing for the vitiated air, steam etc. generated in the building. Underground tunnels, shafts and openings in the building, and the necessary heat of the inner part of the chimney, are very happily combined to effect ventilation, and the result promises to be most satisfactory, apart from which the chimney is ornamental in itself, and thoroughly in keeping with the façade. Mr R Neill of Strangeways has been the general contractor; the ironwork etc. having been done by Messrs Galloway and Son.* The clerk of the works has been Mr T Drinkwater, and all the work is said to have been done most satisfactorily. The cost, exclusive of land has been, we believe, about £12,000.

* Correspondence from Edward T  Bellhouse indicating that Edward T Bellhouse and Company Eagle Foundry, Manchester, had been responsible for the plain and ornamental ironwork including ornamental girders, pillars, cantilevers, railings etc. in accordance with the drawings of Thomas Worthington.  The boilers and apparatus for hot and cold water were the work of Messrs Galloway. [Manchester Guardian 22 June 1860 page 4]

Reference    Manchester Courier 13 September 1856 page 7
Reference    Builder 20 September 1856 page 516
Reference    Manchester Guardian 21 May 1859 Page 6 (Contracts) repeated
Reference    Manchester Guardian 7 July 1859 page 3
Reference    Manchester Guardian 20 June 1860 page 3
Reference    Manchester Guardian 22 June 1860 page 4 – correspondence