Welcome to the Roman Baths Blog!

This blog is a behind the scenes look at the Roman Baths in Bath. We hope you enjoy reading our stories about life surrounding the Roman Baths.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Connecting Collections – Spa Treatment Centre Equipment

St. John’s Store is home to a wide variety of objects including furniture, retired models and spa equipment. This three part series will look at the history of the building, the spa related objects and the furniture collection.

Part 3 - Spa Treatment Centre Equipment

The hot waters of Bath have long been used for the therapeutic treatment of medical ailments, over the years a variety of recreational baths and hospitals have sprung up, all tapping into the natural resource of the warm mineral water from the hot springs.

One such place was The Spa Treatment Centre which opened in 1870 offering a series of luxurious treatments for those who could afford it. The centre grew in popularity and demand during the late 1800s and early 1900s offering treatments for all different kinds of ailments from simple aches and pains, to sciatica and rheumatism and in extreme cases permanent disabilities.

Many of the treatments are still used today but in different forms; the sauna is often seen in gyms and the aeration bath (see below) was the precursor to the modern day Jacuzzi.......

The spa equipment came into the Roman Baths collection after the closure of the Spa Treatment Centre in 1983.

Vichy Bath and Douche
This Victorian invention was named after the spa town in France. The treatment consisted of a massage under a series of shower heads.

“So great had been the demand for this treatment that a further Vichy suite has just been added to the Royal Baths.” The Book of Bath, 1920’s

BATRM 2000.11.1 Vichy Bath and Douche

Needle Douches
A needle douche is an all-round shower which produces fine needle-like jets of spring water. It was one of many treatments available at the Spa Treatment Centre from the 1870s to 1976.

BATRM 1986.491 Needle Douche

Walking Frame
Late Victorian wooden and brass walking frame. The brass frame has four small wheels supporting the solid wooden base. Used by patients in the Spa Treatment Centre.

BATRM 1986.491.47 Walking Frame

Aeration Bath
A deep bath that worked like a modern Jacuzzi. There are a series of pipes in the bottom of the bath which supplied the spring water at high pressure. The bather would lie on a wooden board and back rest.

BATRM 1986.606 Aeration Bath

The store is open to the public several times a year, with the next store open day on Saturday 9th June 2012 from 11am until 3pm. Please do come along and visit us – for more information and directions please follow this link

No comments:

Post a comment