Moseley Road Baths is a Grade II* listed Edwardian swimming pool which opened in 1907 and has been at the heart of the Balsall Heath community ever since, with the baths and adjacent library offered as an incentive for the people of Balsall Heath to join the newly created city of Birmingham.
There were originally three entrances to Moseley Road Baths dividing visitors into men’s first or second class washing baths and swimming pools, with a third entrance to the women’s washing baths – it was several years before women were allowed to swim and the pools were then segregated with a men’s side and a women’s side! The washing baths, or “slipper baths” as they were known, were still being used at Moseley Road Baths until October 2004 and all of the original cubicles are still in place.
The first class or gala pool closed in August 2003 and still has many of its original features including private pool side changing cubicles, balcony seating for spectators during swimming galas, and European-style balconettes which may be unique to a pool in the UK.
The original men’s second class pool is still open for swimming and has it’s own special place in the history of the area. When Moseley Road Baths first opened, water in the pools wasn’t heated and pool 2 was boarded over during winter and used for regular dances, concerts and social clubs with activities including billiards, cards and other games.
Moseley Road Baths is the only Grade II* listed pool which is still open for public swimming and it contains many features which are now unique both nationally and internationally. It is on World Monuments Fund’s Watch List and has been a priority building at risk for the Edwardian Society, Victorian Society and Historic England.
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Did you know
Moseley Road was used as an casualty station during World War II – an incendiary bomb even landed on the roof! causing £5 worth of damage.
That’s £271 in today’s money!