Reference NumberL/SMW/D
DescriptionFor mortgages on the poor rates to finance the Baths, see L/SMB/G/3/1/10-11
AdminHistoryThe Public Baths and Wash-Houses Acts of 1846 and 1847 enabled parishes to construct public facilities of this kind, the expense being met directly out of the Poor Rate or by loans obtained on a mortgage of the rates. The Acts (dubbed 'adoptive acts') were enlightened pieces of legislation which made provision for vestries to apply to the Local Government Board to take over the appointment, duties and liabilities of any existing Baths and Wash-House Commissioners (which in Whitechapel dated back to 1844). Many local authorities did not make use of these powers until the 1890s, but St Mary Whitechapel Vestry was something of an exception to this, voting on 20 October 1874 to establish baths and wash-houses in Goulston Street; the seven (unpaid) Commissioners were first appointed by the Vestry in December 1874. Leasehold premises were assigned to the Commissioners in November 1875, and the bathing and washing facilities were opened for public use in August 1878, construction having cost £8,500. Swimming baths in Goulston Street - distinct from the baths and wash-houses but also under the control of the Commissioners - were opened to the public on 19 May 1886, the total cost being some £5,639.
SubjectBaths and wash-houses
Access StatusOpen
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