The doors are set to re-open at one of Harrogate’s most treasured destinations following a £300,000 regeneration project.
Following intensive design work, consultation with heritage bodies, including Historic England and Harrogate Civic Society, the Turkish Baths will again be open to the public from next Monday, (August, 13).
Lasting 10 weeks the project by Harrogate Borough Council has seen a number of improvements made to the entrance and reception, while also unearthing a number of architectural gems within the baths ‘hidden away behind plasterboard.’
Chris Mason, Manager at Turkish Baths Harrogate said: “This has been a major project and has allowed us to reveal grand vaulted ceilings and open spaces previously blocked up.
“The entrance and reception areas have also been improved, all adding to the historic ambience of this incredible attraction. We have also made lots of other exciting upgrades.”
He added: “The baths are an iconic asset for Harrogate and known worldwide, so we are thrilled to be see this scheme nearing completion.”
Originally opening in 1897 the baths contain a range of elaborate painted ceilings, Islamic arches, terrazzo floors, along with its original fixtures and fittings.
One of the seven 19th century Turkish baths that survive today Harrogate is believed to be the most complete and the only part of the Royal Baths complex that is still used for its original purpose. It was also one of a vast number of facilities available, including medicinal waters dispensary,and hydrotherapy departments.
For those who visit the baths today there will be a similar treatment in place, with the ritual of heating, cooling and cleansing, moving through progressively warmer chambers, before cooling down in the plunge pool, visiting the steam room, or relaxing in the frigidarium. However a new facility will also be on offer as a result of the refurbishment, a dedicated rubdown room.
The work for the baths, has also seen improvements made to the bath’s website to help ease booking online and for the sale of toiletries.
It is hoped that the improvements will see greater numbers of visitors drawn to the baths.
Coun Stan Lumley, HBC Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Sports said:“This is going to create more space, more treatments and activities, a real regeneration and improvement of what is a jewel in the crown of Harrogate.
“We think this will be phase one in a series of investments over the years at the baths. It is an important contribution to both the tourism and the retail offering in the town.”
“We are so pleased to be able to contribute towards and reopen the baths to the public.”