On 3 October 1881, the Penarth Local Board of Health resolved to construct a sea water swimming bath or baths to serve the town. Initially, it was intended to be unroofed but plans which developed over the next few years led to the building whose external appearance is largely unchanged to this day. James Cory was appointed manager in June 1884. However it appears that the Baths may not have opened publicly until the following year.
The building contained two swimming baths, together with dressing rooms and facilities for private bathing. Sea water was pumped from under the Pier into two reservoirs in the field (subsequently Alexandra Gardens) above and behind the Baths before passing through a filtration system into the pools. During the early part of the 20th century, the larger pool was boarded over in the winter months and used as a gymnasium.
The Baths became redundant following the opening of Penarth Leisure Centre in the 1980s. For a time, the building was used as a bar and restaurant known as ‘Inn At The Deep End’, but it later became derelict until conversion into four houses at the start of the 21st century.
David Webb, Glamorgan Archives Volunteer
- Mary Traynor Collection [D1093/2/25-26]
- Penarth Local Board of Health, minutes, 1875-1885 [LBPE/1]
- Thorne, Roy, Penarth – A History Vol. 2 (1976)