Imperial Turkish Baths, London:
separate women's baths
at Queen Square Place

Imperial Turkish Baths for Women, Queen Square Place, London

The Turkish baths at the Imperial Hotel, Russell Square, opened in 1913 and closed shortly before the hotel was demolished in 1966.

A fully illustrated account of these important baths is included in my book, pages 218-224.

When first opened, women were able to use them at specially set aside times. However, it must soon have become apparent that the number of women bathers was not great enough to outweigh the financial loss arising from their being closed to a greater number of men.

Less than a year after the baths opened it was decided to build a separate set of women’s baths at 20 Queen Square Place, a property adjoining the back of the hotel and already owned by it. This would give women the opportunity to enter directly through their own entrance, while still being able to gain access from the hotel if preferred.

It is not possible to describe the layout of the women’s baths in any detail, because the two surviving plans show only their position and general outline. But the main entrance, changing area, and frigidarium are known to have been on the ground floor, with the remaining rooms located in the basement.

Price lists from the 1920s and 1950s show that a full range of facilities and treatments was available to women, even though their baths were much smaller.

The women's baths closed around 1962, shortly before the men's baths.

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

Women and the Victorian Turkish bath: 3. the first Turkish baths

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

 
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NOTES
 1. David Urquhart introduced the Turkish bath into the British Isles in 1856 [return]
 2. Harriet also wrote political articles under the name Caritas [return]
 3. See list of directors in companies section [return]