Turkish baths in London

10a Argyll Place, Regent Street

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

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Argyll Turkish Baths
  

In 1846, Dr Robert James Culverwell, author of medical tracts and proprietor of baths in New Broad Street, took a lease on the house at No.10 Argyll Place. Two years later he had single storey baths built in the adjoining courtyard and these became known as the Argyll Baths at No.10a.

When Dr Culverwell died in 1852, his widow, Ann Eliza Culverwell, continued running the baths for another eight or so years. She died in 1863, having sold the baths three years earlier to the Argyll Baths Company. They added Turkish baths to the establishment and renamed it The Argyll Turkish Baths.

By 1883, the baths were now owned by Messrs Jones & Co, proprietors of the New Broad Street Turkish Baths near Liverpool Street Station. During the following two years, both sets of baths were refurbished.

Better baths have replaced the now obsolete forms, and the rooms have been enlarged and thoroughly ventilated, thereby removing all those drawbacks which passed muster in bygone years, but which are now no longer up to the present scientific standard.

As at New Broad Street, the baths were open from seven in the morning till nine at night. A 'plain hot-air bath, with shower' cost 3/6d, while the 'complete process' cost 4/-. Also available were perfumed vapour, Russian vapour, Vichy, and sulphur vapour baths. There were scented showers, together with ascending, descending and spinal douches.

We canít be absolutely certain, but it seems likely that Jones & Co sold both their establishments some time between 1886 and 1889, the New Broad Street baths being purchased by James Forder and Henry Nevill, and the Argyll baths coming under the management of Alexander Paterson.

The Argyll baths were closed in 1902, and demolished to make way for two warehouses.

This page last revised and slightly enlarged 13 January 2018

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Dawn Edmonds, for information about the Culverwells

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Robert James Culverwell

1855 leaflet

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