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Rare Victorian pool listed at Grade II

Woolton Baths in Liverpool has just been recognised as a building of national importance.

English Heritage has awarded the 1893 baths on Quarry Street South in Woolton Grade II-listed status. The Victorian Society had earlier written in support of the listing application.

'It is wonderful news that English Heritage has decided to list Woolton Baths,' said Dr Ian Dungavell, Director of the Victorian Society.  'While the more elaborate Victorian pools have tended to survive, ordinary ones such as this have almost completely vanished. Woolton Baths is a rare surviving example of a public swimming pool built to serve a local village community, and despite being more than 100 years old it remains remarkably intact.'

The sandstone exterior of the pool is little changed and inside the building the original wrought iron and timber roof still remains, along with a balcony, nineteenth-century Minton tiles and a ceramic scum channel.

Listing will now give this rare and attractive swimming pool some protection from demolition or unsympathetic change.

'The architectural and historic importance of the pool has now been recognised but it is regrettable that Liverpool City Council by closing the baths has failed to recognise the importance of swimming to this local community. We would now like to see this pool celebrated and brought back into use.'

Woolton Baths closed to swimmers in October 2010, but a local community group now wants to buy the pool and re-open it.

Currently only 12 listed Victorian or Edwardian swimming pools are open to the public for swimming.

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Monday 23 January, 2012

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