Five Things: Gipton Bath House, Gledhow Valley Woods

The Bath House.
The Bath House.
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Thunk you know Gipton Bath House in Gledhow Valley Woods? Think again.

The open-air bath house was built in 1671 in Gledhow Valley Woods. It is Grade II-listed and made of gritstone and slate. The plunge pool is 3m square and 1.75m deep, with a platform.

Ice cold water from a nearby spring was used to fill the bath, and there was a small fireplace for people to ‘sweat out’. Patients would visit the spa waters for their health benefits.

It was constructed at the orders of local landowner Edward Waddington of Gledhow and a commemorative plaque can still be seen. He inherited Gledhow Manor from his wife’s father.

Although popular with wealthy patrons, by 1834 the baths had lost their kudos and were neglected until they were restored by local people in 1881.

Lord Airedale’s daughter Hilda Kitson offered £200 to the Corporation to care for the building, and they took it over in 1926. It is now cared for by the Friends of Gledhow Valley Woods.

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