The cooling-room at the GWR Turkish bath

Cooling-room in the GWR Turkish bath, Swindon
< Photograph: A century of medical service: the story of the Great Western Medical Fund Society, 1847 to 1947 by Bernard Darwin

This cooling-room was part of the Turkish baths suite originally provided by the Great Western Railway (GWR) for its railwaymen and their families as part of its Medical Fund Society.

The society provided Turkish baths for its members since at least 1868, if not earlier, though not always on the same premises. Parts of the Victorian baths remain within the Health Hydro now run by the local authority. This makes them the second oldest Turkish baths still open in the British Isles, following those in Newcastle-upon-Tyne (which also moved to a new building during its lifetime.)

Although much of the original baths provision has changed, there are still some original features remaining on the site, including some which are no longer part of the baths.

Entry revised 30 January 2012

This page enlarges an image or adds to the information found below:

Urquhart and the London Hammam. Part 6: Plan, reality, and conclusion

The Turkish bath as a procedure

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

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