La Vallette Bathing Pools, Guernsey

Name: La Vallette Bathing Pools
Location: St Peter Port, Guernsey
Current status: All 4 pools open
Date built: 1844-1896
Architect: George Fosbery Lyster (1844 Horseshoe Pool)
Listed building status: No
Lead organisation: La Vallette Legacy Project

Description
A set of four coastal swimming pools – a bathing place and three tidal pools: Horseshoe, Ladies’, Gent’s and Children’s Pools. As their names suggest, the pools have a purposeful history reflecting the Victorians’ high regard for seawater bathing and even higher regard for propriety.

They form a unique complex along a promenade built under the cliffs of Havelet Bay and the ingenuity of the engineering and the beauty of the stonework is remarkable.

Facilities
All four pools are in use including the Horseshoe Pool, a purpose built ‘U’ shaped bathing place, the Ladies’ pool, the Children’s pool and the Gents’ pool. This is thanks to a tremendous community effort.

There are changing rooms, a café and toilets at the Ladies/Children’s pools and simple changing shelters at Gent’s and Horseshoe.

Notable facts
Submerged at high tide and flushed twice a day, the pools feature remarkable Victorian marine engineering and are a safe place to swim on a falling tide.

The pools were badly damaged by storms in 2014, but prompted local efforts to raise funds for their full reinstatement and improvement.

Current plans
Guernsey’s government, known as the States, is cleaning all the pools each month to prevent slippery surfaces. They are also monitoring and maintaining the structures as far as possible according to available budget. Two charitable groups are now working alongside the States to supplement their efforts. The Friends of La Vallette LBG act as a link for the day to day running of the Ladies’ and Children’s pools and changing rooms and contribute where possible to upkeep. Vive La Vallette has won the tender to redevelop the café and surrounding area. Plans are awaiting final approval.

Website
www.facebook.com/LaValletteProject/

Find this pool
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Postcode: GY1 1AX


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