Turkish baths in Scotland


Edinburgh: 12 Stafford Street (West End) 



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


Original illustrated page with chronology and notes

List of other Turkish baths in Scotland



Turkish Baths

The baths were opened on 26 October 1886 by Thomas Fleming, who was already proprietor of the Turkish baths at 90, Princes Street.

Mrs Fielding opened the baths for women on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings between 9.00 and 12.oo. Apart from this, the baths opened from 6.00 am to 9.00 pm for men.

The cooling-room shown in the cut above (taken from a contemporary advertisement) seems to indicate, even allowing for the exaggeration typical of such illustrations, that the baths must have been capable of holding a reasonable number of bathers. 

According to an advertorial appearing in the first decade of the 1900s, the proprietor, William Fielding, had previously been principal of the bath department at the Moffatt Hydropathic Establishment, while the baths

exhibit a perfection of plan and appointment which leaves nothing to be desired. All the decorative work has been carried out in a very pleasing and appropriate style, and in the hot-rooms the artistic effect of the tiled walls and mosaic floors will not pass unnoticed by visitors.

As was so frequently the case, the opening hours for women were less than those for men but, unusually, women were able to make special arrangements with Mrs Fielding if they wished to use the baths after 9.00 in the evening.

An innovation at this establishment was the Turkish morning wash. It is not quite clear exactly what this was, but according to the advertorial, it was,

well adapted to the convenience of gentlemen who have not sufficient time to spare to go through the process of the Turkish bath. Many avail themselves of this luxurious form of morning ablution, and testify to its invigorating and refreshing effect.

Andrew Bethune, Librarian, The Edinburgh Room, Edinburgh City Libraries

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cooling-room at 12 Stafford Street, Edinburgh


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

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