Free behind-the-scenes tours at historic Pump Rooms - The Leamington Observer

Free behind-the-scenes tours at historic Pump Rooms

Leamington Editorial 1st Sep, 2017   0

THE MARBLE corridor might sound like something out of Game of Thrones, but it’s actually a lot closer to home.

And people will get a chance to see it if they visit Leamington Pump Rooms during Heritage Open Days next week.

The historic Pump Rooms, also home to the library, art gallery and museum, will be offering free behind-the-scenes tours on Thursday September 7 and Saturday September 9.

The Royal Pump Rooms building was opened in 1814 as Leamington became a major spa resort. Since the 1780s increasing numbers of wealthy visitors had been coming to teh town to ‘take the waters’ for their health while mixing with fashionable society.

Their needs were met by several spa baths built south of the river Leam around All Saints’ Church, but the Pump Rooms was the first and only spa establishment built north of the river. Its Regency assembly room and 20 baths made it the largest and most prestigious of all the spa bathing places in Leamington.

But the fashion for taking health cures at inland spas began to decline after the 1840s and over the next two decades the spa baths in the Old Town all closed.

The Pump Rooms was already recognised as a major landmark building so was refurbished and extended in 1863 to provide a Turkish Bath and swimming pool.

Further redevelopments followed, notably the opening in 1890 of another swimming pool, and later the introduction of facilities for physiotherapy treatments, and later still it became home to the art gallery and museum and the library.

Places for the Heritage Open Day tours are limited. Call 01926 742700 to book.

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