Arlington Baths Club

Name: Arlington Baths Club
Location: Glasgow
Current status: Open
Date built: 1870
Architect: John Burnett (swimming pool, 1870); Charles Drake (Turkish Baths, 1875); Andrew Myles (stairs and first floor room, 1898); Benjamin Conner (first floor extension, 1902); Alexander Hislop (lower showers and changing rooms, 1940s/50s).
Listed building status: Category A listed
Lead organisation: Arlington Baths Club

The first of its kind in Europe, the Arlington Baths Club was set up by a group of Glasgow businessmen in 1870 as a members-only swimming pool. It expanded to incorporate a Turkish Baths in 1875. This was modelled on the Alhambra in Spain and constructed in concrete by pioneering builder Charles Drake. The encaustic floor tiles in the Turkish Baths are by Minton, Hollins & Company and the vitreous mosaic tesserae are from Jesse Rust & Son. The first floor was added to the building between 1898 and 1902 to house billiard tables.

The Baths opened in 1871 with 500 gentlemen as full members. In 1872 a ladies section was created with around 35 women joining (though without full membership rights). Children were also admitted as junior members. Today the Club has around 1300 adult members, all of whom have equal voting rights, and the Club is led by a Board of Management made up of members.

The swimming pool is 75 feet by 35 feet and is lit by skylights.

At the poolside are a sauna and steam room, changing rooms (communal and family cubicles); showers and original Victorian and art deco baths.

The Turkish suite has a warm room, hot room with wooden benches, a steam room and showers, and a separate cool room with comfy seats.

The ground floor also has a members’ lounge with a small bar.

On the first floor is a gym, a large room for exercise classes, exhibitions and events, and a changing room with a sauna and steam room.

Notable fact
Above the swimming pool is a set of travelling rings and two trapezes, making Arlington Baths one of only a handful of baths to have such facilities still in place.

Current plans
The Club is a non-profit organisation with Community Amateur Sports Club status. All the members’ subscription fees go into the running costs and the continuing upkeep of the building. There is an on-going programme of sensitive refurbishment in collaboration with Glasgow architects Page & Park.


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Postcode: G3 6DT

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