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Take in the waters from dry land
Tour the historic Royal Pump Rooms that celebrate Leamington's roots as a spa town famous for its salt water and beautiful gardens.
The salt springs of Leamington Spa were discovered in the Middle Ages, but it was not until 1784 that baths were built to make an attraction out of the natural resource.
The number of visitors to Leamington was so great that in 1814 a new large building - the Royal Pump Room and Baths we know today - was designed and built by CS Smith of Warwick.
The Pump Room gardens were originally planted for the exclusive use of the Pump Room visitors but in 1875 they were opened to the public.
The baths paid handsome profits in their early days but by 1848 fashions had moved on and the Pump Rooms were put up for sale. In 1862 extensive reconstruction work was done and a Turkish Bath and swimming pool were added.
Change of focus
Physiotherapy and hydrotherapy treatments continued at the Pump Rooms throughout the century, but by the 1990s after two world wars and declining fortunes, Warwick District Council, in collaboration with Warwickshire County Council, produced proposals to use the building as a cultural and tourist attraction.
Leamington's Art Gallery, museum, library and Tourist Information Centre were moved to the Pump Rooms, the Assembly Rooms were refurbished and a new café was installed.
The new building opened to the public in Summer 1999, safeguarding the future of the historic Pump Rooms for the 21st century.
last updated: 18/04/2008 at 14:57