Behind the Scenes at Manchester’s Water Palace

One of Manchester’s most iconic buildings, Victoria Baths is an Edwardian swimming pool, wash house and Turkish bath complex. Opened in 1906, its grand terracotta and brick façade became symbolic of an era of public health and growing civil pride. It’s interior of glazed tiles and decorative stained-glass windows adorned its three public pools and Turkish baths and survive even today in all their former glory. Built in an age of gender and class segregation, Victoria Baths soon adapted to the changing times. This was a public building for ordinary working people as much as it was for the more well-to-do. A place where thousands of local people learned to swim, including the famous cross-Channel swimmer Sunny Lowry.

The Baths was closed in 1993 but this was not the end of its story. A determined campaign to get the building restored succeeded in saving it and now it is a hugely popular attraction, receiving tens of thousands of visitors every year.

In this video we’ll take a look at all of Victoria Bath’s beauty, but I’ll also go behind the scenes to see how the baths operated, including a look at the wonderful water filtration room and a nice bit of plumbing underneath the pools!

A Culture Recovery Fund grant distributed by Historic England has helped to secure the future of this unique piece of heritage. #HereForCulture

Thanks to Historic England and also Victoria Baths for letting me explore!

To learn more about the Culture Recovery Fund or the work of Historic England, please visit:

For more about Victoria Baths or to donate or volunteer, please visit:
Twitter: @victoriabaths

About agogo22

Director of Manchester School of Samba at
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