Historic England Makes Major Grant to Iconic Moseley Road Baths in Birmingham

A sustainable future for the iconic Moseley Road Baths is one step closer as Historic England makes a major grant of £659,448 to Birmingham City Council to pay for urgent repairs to the Gala Pool roof.

The announcement comes as the Council has today approved a £1million package to secure the Baths for future generations. The remainder of the package is made up of £100,000 each from World Monuments Fund and Birmingham City Council, and support valued at £300,000 from the National Trust.

The Grade II* listed baths were first opened in 1907 and have been on the Heritage at Risk register since 2005. They are the oldest of only five Grade II* listed swimming baths operating in Britain and an iconic element of this part of Birmingham. They are the only Baths in the country built before 1914 to have continuously hosted swimming since they opened.

An internal view of the original white, green and cream tiling within Grade II* listed Moseley Road Baths, Balsall Heath, Birmingham
Opened in 1907, Grade II* listed Moseley Road Baths, Balsall Heath, Birmingham, is one of the most complete examples of an Edwardian Bath House in England. © Historic England

Why are the baths so special?

The baths are so significant because of  their architectural quality and their remarkably complete interior.

Rare fixtures and fittings are still intact, including an almost complete set of 46 private washing rooms known as the ‘slipper baths’ - the only complete set in the country. The oak ticket offices and attendants’ kiosks, and possibly the only surviving steam-heated drying racks in a British swimming pool, also remain in place, making this space a real time capsule.

The continued use of the building for swimming is also a key part of its historic importance. The building is well-loved by locals, many of whom learned to swim at Moseley Road Baths - and still do to this day

Public Baths, Moseley Road, Moseley, Birmingham, West Midlands. Laundry, detail of drying racks
Laundry, detail of drying racks at Moseley Road Public Baths, Birmingham, West Midlands © Historic England

Staff in Historic England’s team in the West Midlands have been working to secure the future of the Baths for more than ten years.  

Cristina Gardiner, Historic England Heritage at Risk Architect said: “Moseley Road Baths has been a key Heritage at Risk project for us for some time now and we’re so keen to see this special building’s future secured. We have provided many years of technical advice and expertise, project support and several grants ranging from small amounts of money for options appraisals and building reports, to the major grant announced today. I am delighted and so proud to have played a role in saving this extraordinary site for the people of Birmingham”.

Public Baths, Moseley Road, Moseley, Birmingham, West Midlands. Detail of entrance ticket booth to bath house
Detail of entrance ticket booth to Moseley Road Public Baths, Moseley, Birmingham © Historic England
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