Manningham Baths

Uniquely intact Edwardian pool closed, future uncertain


The Victorian Society has fought hard to keep Bradford’s unique and extraordinarily intact Edwardian swimming pool open to the public, but in July Bradford Council closed Manningham Baths, and two months later drained the water from the pool.

‘Nowhere else in the country could you until recently swim in a pool so close to the appearance of an ‘ordinary’ pool of the turn of the last century. This truly remarkable survival should be used and celebrated by swimmers in Bradford, not left to rot.’

Although not as grand as some listed swimming pools, what stands out at Manningham Pool is its extraordinarily intact state. The building has its original changing cubicles and the pool itself still has ceramic spittoons at regular intervals and a so-called scum channel down each side. The decision to close Manningham Pool was taken without any thought as to what would happen to this valuable listed building and the The Victorian Society would like Bradford Council to rethink its short term decision.

Pool buildings are notoriously hard to find new uses for and the longer Manningham Pool lies empty the harder it will be to save. In the few months since it closed it has already been broken into three times.

‘This rare survivor from 1904 deserves better’, said Dr Dungavell.

The Victorian Society is now supporting a plan to upgrade the pool’s listed status from Grade II to Grade II*


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