Constantine's Convoluted Stove

Nothing but a load of hot air:
some problems, conflicts, and controversies
arising during the development
of the Victorian Turkish bath

1: Introduction     2: Technology and attitudes
3: Technological issues     4: Cleanliness
5: Doctors' attitudes     6: Class
7: Charges of indolence and effeminacy     8: Shampooing and nakedness
9: Terminology and architectural style     You are here

10. Coda You can print this page -- Click for printer-friendly version

Mr Punch takes a Turkish


Despite such controversies and technical problems, Turkish baths became increasingly popular throughout Victoria’s reign, with their gradual decline only beginning shortly after World War I.

The five last Victorians
1868 Swindon
1871 Glasgow: Arlington Baths Club
1878 Glasgow: Western Baths Club
1897 Harrogate
1901 Edinburgh: Portobello Baths

In the UK in January 2017, only twelve Victorian and Victorian-style Turkish baths were still open: five designed during Queen Victoria's reign, and seven later ones.39


In presenting a paper on this little-studied subject within a 20 minute conference slot, I had to choose between dealing in slightly greater depth with one or two issues, or trying to give a more general view of a range of issues arising from the introduction of the Turkish bath into Victorian Britain.

In the event, I chose the latter approach as being more likely to interest a greater number of those attending the conference in the hope that they might find links between the Victorian Turkish bath and their own areas of interest.

Some of these issues will be treated more fully on the website in due course.

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