North Road Baths

Built in 1895

North Road Swimming Baths were built in 1895 and initially were open to men and women on separate days. The pool measured 120 by 33 feet.

It closed in November 1979 and the Prince Regent Swimming Pool was built on the site. An arched entrance from North Road formerly leading to the baths remains.

Photo:North Road baths under construction in 1895

North Road baths under construction in 1895

Image reproduced with permission from Brighton History Centre

This page was added on 22/03/2006.
Comments about this page
This is nice to see after so many years and it brings back memories of passing my 10yds, 25yds and 50yds certificates as a schoolboy. Also I remember watching my elder brother diving for the Fawcett School. Those were good days, all piling onto Unique coaches, whilst still soaking wet of course. Thanks.
By Chris (22/12/2003)
I remember this so well from my days at the Downs School. I also passed my 10 and 25yds swimming certificates here. Always loved the separate changing cubicles around the side. Also remember using the attached public baths around 1959 when we moved into a house in Dyke Road Drive which didn't then have a bathroom. Huge baths (for a 10 year old) with enormous taps, and lashings of hot water which was controlled by an attendant. "More hot water in number 5" were the shouts that prompted the taps to gush.
By Ruth Mitchell (15/01/2004)
I had swimming lessons in 1970 at North Road with a Mr Firth. I was hopeless and had him tearing his hair out. He did call me a tortoise and that I would never learn to swim. I have improved somewhat and now run my own swim school. Great pictures of the pool, and I had forgotten the stalls on poolside.
By Phil Streeter (21/05/2004)
I loved this place. I have so many happy memories - me and my friends were always swimming. We had lots of fun - I always remember the little separate cubicles and getting hot soup from the drinks machine. I was so sad when they closed it down. I remember walking past the site and looking on the ground to see a piece of the mosaic tile - it was only tiny but I picked it up and I have kept it ever since. A great picture and good memories. Thanks.
By Sharron (22/05/2005)
I learnt to swim at North Road baths in the 1950s and became a regular visitor every week. I remember the children at the front of the queue, myself included, used an old penny to make holes in the wall by wearing away the red brick. I used to wonder how many other children had done this over the years. We always had our school's and Girls' Guildry swimming sports there which were always very competitive and exciting. We could watch the races from the cubicles around the side and cheer our teams on. It was during the Girls' Guildry swimming session on a Monday evening that I slipped while coming out of my cubicle, hit my head and fell in the water. I was pulled out of the water but was concussed and had a month off school. However, this did not put me off swimming and I joined the Brighton Ladies Swimming Club and later became a swimming teacher and ASA coach.
By Jacqueline Pollard (22/06/2005)
I had swimming lessons here with my sister back in the 70s, and I remember a swimming gala that I took part in when I used to belong to the local Sunday School. Great memories. I was explaining the baths to my children when we visited the new complex recently. It's great to have a picture that I can show them now!
By Dionne Hall (09/02/2006)

It's a real shame that the beautiful arched entrance from North Road has been demolished (in about 2005) and replaced with the square section building. The arch was really quite attractive, with high quality Victorian brickwork. Why on earth do the planners let this happen?

By Peter Groves (27/03/2007)

Like Jacqueline I had swimming lessons at North Road in 1958 and went on to join BSC until 1964. Happy days with Mr White collecting the your subs (6d) as you entered. And the late and great Mrs Ottaway training the girls for swimming and the boys for diving. How my friends and I never got sick spending hours in the "emerald" green of The North Road Baths, is a miracle in itself! Paul Wheatley wheatley@chariot.net.au

By Paul Wheatley (05/04/2010)

I too have such fond memories of the North Road baths. I joined Brighton Ladies swim club in 1974 and was trained to County standard by the great Mrs Ottaway. It was never the same for me once it was shut and replaced with the new Prince Regent! 

By Jackie Sullivan (28/01/2011)

Well what memories. We used to walk from Ditchling road school, as it was known then, during the war for swimming lessons and walk back again hardly dry before starting the walk back, but we did not seem any the worse for the walk. It most likly done us the world of good

By Garry Lockwood (15/05/2011)

Memories indeed. Loved it there. The Ottaways had a daughter, possibly Josephine? Anyway a very good swimmer of that name was at The Brighton Girls Club run by Miss Prior. Linda Harman, another good swimmer was friends with her.

By Jennifer Tonks (16/05/2011)

What wonderful Memories, I was a member of Brighton Swimming Club in 1964-1966. My mother just this week found a spoon in her drawer that I won when in competition. (Marked BSC)

By Terry Knight (09/04/2013)

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