Nestled on the banks of the River Avon sits Cleveland Pools, the UK’s only surviving Georgian open-air swimming pool.
Built in 1815, the Cleveland Pools became a favourite summer destination for generations of bathers from Bath and beyond. By the Victorian era, Cleveland Pools had become so popular that a children's pool was added. But with the advent of indoor swimming, Cleveland Pools fell into disrepair and finally closed in 1984.
Since closing dedicated volunteers and campaigners have maintained the site. In August 2014 the Cleveland Pools Trust received preliminary funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and began opening the site for walking tours and public visits. With the help of the Prince’s Regeneration Trust, English Heritage, and B&NES Council, the Cleveland Pools Trust now have planning approval to restore the Grade II-star baths and reclaim them for swimmers.
Plans include a 25-metre main pool using naturally treated water. Alternative energy sources will heat the water in spring and summer. The original Georgian changing cubicles and Cottage building will be refurbished and there will be a facility for refreshments and exhibitions. The river landing stage will be re-instated for people to arrive by boat from Pulteney Weir in the centre of Bath, along the river Avon.
The Cleveland Pools will also be available for water-related training activities such as canoeing and scuba-diving, as an education centre for school children, as a venue for theatre workshops and children’s parties, and as an historic and leisure destination for locals and visitors to Bath.