York & North Yorkshire

Urgent repairs to Harrogate's Turkish Bath flooring

Harrogate Turkish Baths Image copyright Harrogate Borough Council
Image caption The baths have an elaborate Moorish design with arches and walls of glazed brickwork

Emergency repairs are under way at Harrogate's Turkish Baths to prevent a damaged interior becoming dangerous.

The council-run venue describes itself as "Britain's most fully-restored Victorian Turkish Baths" but its tiled flooring needs repairing.

The baths are currently closed due to coronavirus restrictions.

Harrogate Borough Council said it had commissioned almost £30,000 of repairs to stop it becoming "dangerous" and "severely damaged".

The baths opened in 1897 and have been managed by the council since the late 1990s.

Harrogate's Grade II-listed building with its Moorish design, Islamic arches, glazed brickwork, painted ceilings and terrazzo floors is historically complete.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Turkish Baths were common in Victorian times, now only seven date back to the 19th century

Councillor Graham Swift said in a report the bath's mosaic and marble flooring were more than 100 years old and would "continue to deteriorate" without the work, started earlier this month.

The floor was "now showing signs of water egress, wear in grouted joints and cracks in the terrazzo.

"There are also increasing health and safety concerns relating to the uneven and potentially dangerous surface where mosaic pieces are being exposed", the report said.

The floor was in danger of being "severely damaged", it added.

A £1.5m restoration scheme in 2003 was the last large-scale work on the baths, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

A smaller scheme revealed high ceilings and converted a blocked-off area into a treatment room in 2018.

The current upgrade is due to be completed in August.

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