Arlington Baths Club built in 1870 is the oldest private club of its kind in Europe. A fine example of Victorian architecture, the main facade is well proportioned and gives an effect of modest Classicism. Don’t miss the stunning Turkish Suite!
Originally built during 1871 the building is a fine example of Victorian Architecture of the time. The Club opened on 1 August 1871 with membership drawn from the local area. Members appeared first thing in the morning before work and returned in the evening before going home in a regular twice daily ritual. In 1885 a Turkish Room plus ancillary accommodation was added allowing membership to increase to 600. This Glaswegian homage to the Alhambra with its tiled walls and floors beehive roof studded with star shaped coloured windows sufficient only to light the space dimly, calmed bathers as they reclined on benches in super-heated seclusion. By 1893 architect Andrew Myles added an additional Reading Room and Billiard Room to the south end of the existing building in the form of a single storey with service space below and extended the facade of the building. A third extension was added presumably by Myles which moved the entrance from the centre of the Burnet building to what now emerged as a kind of interregnum between the two phases of the street frontage. This was developed separately as an entrance leading to a grand staircase, which in turn led to the reading room and billiard room on the first floor. Myles emphasised this by means of a triple arched entrance and steps with a five arched loggia above. In 1902, architect Benjamin Conner extended the front wall of the original building directly upwards to create a larger billiard room and long gallery which is now used as a gym, lit by a regular rhythm of single windows.
Tours: Sat-Sun every half hour 10am-4pm; 30 minutes
Tour meeting point: Members Lounge
Parking info: On street parking (metered)
Accessibility: We have three steps as you enter the building. Access is via a single front door and the tour involves climbing stairs to the first floor (no lift).
Additional: There will be no restriction on building access. We will provide all visitors with plastic shoe covers to allow them to walk in areas where people would normally be in bare feet.
Architect: John Burnet snr.
Building Date: 1870