1874 – Floating Swimming Baths, Charing Cross, London

Architect: Driver & Rew


Published in The Building News, July 3, 1874: “Our illustration gives a view of the interior of the Charing-cross Bath, now in the course of completion, and which, when finished, will occupy one of the recesses in the Embankment, close to Hungerford Bridge. The hull, containing the bath and filtering apparatus, is built of wrought iron ; the superstructure is principally of cast iron and glass. The bathing area is 135/t. by 25ft., and the depth varies from 3ft. to 7ft., commodious dressing-boxes being provided. The bath, with its extensive and complicated machinery, is the production of Mr. E. Penett,of Abingdon-street.and Mr. C. W. Whitaker, the engineers to the Floating Swimming Baths Company, and we are assured that by the patent process of the former gentleman, clean water in great quantity (1,000 gallons per minute) can be thrown with ease into the bath. The superstructure, of which we give a perspective view, is designed by Messrs. Driver and Kew, of Victoria-street. Floating baths on the Thames have long been looked for and longed for, but we had almost given up the hope of overcoming the difficulty of dealing with Thames water so as to render it fit to bathe in, the attempt to filter it in sufficient quantity, within the limits of any floating structure, having hitherto proved futile. If, however, the water supplied to the Charing-cross bath be similar to that producced at trials we have witnessed, we have no reason to apprehend any further difficulty from this source. “