Turkish Baths

There are a few historic buildings in Sheffield up for sale at present. Just hitting the market are the Turkish Baths on Victoria Street, just off Glossop Road.

These once formed part of Glossop Road baths, the first public baths in the city, built in the aftermath of the cholera epidemic of 1832 and associated with the Public Dispensary (later Royal Hospital).

It was re-built in 1877-1879 by architect Edward Mitchel Gibbs of Change Alley, for the Turkish and Public Bath Company Ltd.

Turkish baths became popular in Victorian times, its proponents arguing that they achieved a degree of cleanliness “unattainable by any other expedient,” and its successes forced the medical profession to take notice.

Gibbs paid a visit to most of the chief Turkish Baths in the country, and his plans were based upon his experiences.

The heating system was installed by Vickers, Son and Company, the invention of Thomas Edward Vickers, and removed sulphur from the heated air and “that even in the hottest room there were none of the unpleasant sensations which were sometimes experienced under such circumstances.”

At the time, the Sheffield Independent wrote: –

“It is not often that Sheffield can boast of excelling other towns; but it may now take credit to itself for having the finest and most complete Turkish baths in the kingdom. Attendants in Turkish costume await his bidding, and while smoking a cigar – never so delightful as after a bath – he can have tea or coffee, or, the cigar finished, he may have light refreshments.”

While the rest of the old baths have been given over to leisure and residential use, only the interiors of the Turkish Baths, reputed to be the oldest in the country, has survived.

These Turkish Baths closed in 1990 after 127 years but were reopened in 2004 after SPA 1877 developers completed a £2million restoration, reviving many of the original features including mosaic flooring, glazed brick walls and arched ceilings.

Offers are invited above £695,000 for the landmark building.