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Friday, 25 April 2014

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Carlisle's Turkish baths could be given English Heritage protection

English Heritage is considering listing Carlisle’s Turkish baths.

Turkish Baths photo
The Turkish Baths in Carlisle

The historic building, in James Street – one of just three remaining Victorian Turkish baths in England – dates to 1874.

City MP Eric Martlew is concerned that it may be affected by the possible relocation of the neighbouring Pools complex and has written to English Heritage asking them to consider awarding listed status.

He wants to protect the building against future development and has been told that English Heritage is now investigating whether to list it.

“There are very few Victorian Turkish baths left in the UK and Carlisle’s is a great example of the architecture of the time,” he said. “The tiles are of national renown.

“There are persistent rumours that the city council is considering relocating the swimming pools and, whilst I would support this, there has to be guarantee and safeguards that the Turkish suite would not be demolished.”

Council leader Mike Mitchelson said they had no plans to change the Turkish baths.

“We are pleased to see that Mr Martlew supports the city council’s view that the Turkish baths are an important example of Victorian architecture and that they should be protected from any future development,” he said.

“The council, as part of the Sands Centre development, is looking at new swimming provision but has no plans to change the Turkish baths, as they are continue to be an important and unique facility in Carlisle.”

The city council said no firm decision had been taken on the future of the Pools but it does want to build a new sports hall and swimming pool at the Sands Centre.

It announced in February that it hoped a £6m extension could open there by October 2011, partly funded by the University of Cumbria which needs a base for sports science degree courses.

A six-lane 25m swimming pool could also form part of the scheme, although this has not been costed and might have to be added later.

A council report earlier this year said that the Pools complex was in need of “extensive refurbishment”, costing £1.5m over three years.

The other only Victorian Turkish baths in England are in Harrogate and Swindon.

Have your say

the Turkish baths in Carlisle. a great place to spend a relaxing morning.

Posted by JULIE on 14 March 2014 at 20:28

I have many a good time in the Turkish Baths in Carlisle. It's a great place to unwind and relax. They even provide towels which come in very handy. I would pay extra to keep this facility going.

Posted by Gary on 2 October 2009 at 21:06

View all 5 comments on this article

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