Heritage Listing of Kings Meadow Baths Reading – 2004
A Brilliant Archive at the time of the Heritage Listing August 2004 with comments from the Reading People.
Report Associated with the Heritage Listing
“Women’s Outdoor Swimming Pool, 1902 with minor late C20 alterations. Designed and built by John Bowen, Borough Engineer and Surveyor, at a cost of £4890. Ironwork made byAllan & Kidgell at their Caversham Bridge Engineering Works. Red and white brick with ashlar dressings and plain tile roofs. Canopy roofs replaced with C20 corrugated iron.
INTERIOR has white tiled rectangular swimming pool 120 ft long and 45 ft wide. Pool surrounded by a covered loggia with a timber roof or canopy. This canopy supported on ornate cast iron columns with elaborate brackets above. Octagonal entrance building now marked by C20 temporary boarding. The shallow end retains a large number of original timber changing rooms sited under the surrounding canopy.
EXTERIOR has octagonal entrance building projecting from the centre of the long south side. Octaogon has tall tile roof with four small dormers, each with tile-hung sides and timber brackets supporting the gables. Main entrance has central doorway topped with a bold ashlar pediment containing a shield bearing the date “1902”. Either side two windows to the octagon and seven windows on either side, the chamfered ends have a single window each. All these windows are linked by a molded ashlar cill band, and they are now boarded up. The left end has a single small chimney staff
All the external walls are orange brick with a white brick band above. The three remaining sides are all blind.
This pleasure bathing pool was built to allow Edwardian women to bathe in privacy. It was originally fed from the Thames though it was converted to main supply in the 1950s.
It is an extremely rare and fine example of a complete Edwardian Lido.