Victorian Turkish Baths Picture of the Month for August 2007

Cambray Spa Turkish baths
Rodney Road, Cheltenham

Cambray Turkish Baths, Cheltenham
< Outside Ruck's Turkish baths
Enlargement of name
plate by the entrance
< Enlargement of plate on left of entrance, just above the head of the standing figure.

The building, originally known as the Cambray Spa, was built in 1835. William Ruck bought the spa around 1871 and added a Turkish baths on one side and a photographic studio on the other. The new Turkish baths opened on 19 February 1873.

The nameplate reads:

F. RUCK'S Massage & Electro-Galvanic ESTABLISHMENT

since Frank Ruck had taken over the baths on his father's death in 1886.

It is not known when this photogaph was taken but, due to the electric street lighting and the style of the boy's clothing, it seems most likely to have been some time between 1903 and the early 1910s, possibly in 1910 itself. This would have been to mark Ruck's completion of a major refurbishment of the baths at the end of 1909.

Soon after Frank's death in 1937 the baths were demolished in order to build a carpark.

This page last revised 01 January 2023


Thank you icon

Michael Cartwright for permission to reproduce his postcard and his own enlargement

of the nameplate by the entrance

Norma J Grundy for her help in estimating a possible date for the photograph

Top of the page

Pictures of the month archive


Victorian Turkish Baths: their origin, development, and gradual decline

Home pageSite mapSearch the site

Comments and queries are most welcome and can be sent to:
The right of Malcolm Shifrin to be identified as the author of this work
has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

  Malcolm Shifrin, 1991-2023