River Sow and the Royal Brine Baths, Stafford

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Date:1910 - 1912 (c.)

Description:n the centre is the River Sow, on the left is a canal which was specially made to carry coal to a wharf near to the Green Bridge in Bridge Street. Due to lack of use it was filled in around 1930.

The buildings on the left are the Royal Brine Baths, in the centre is the Tower of St Mary’s Church and on the right the Tower of St. Chad’s Church.

In the 1880s a thick bed of salt was discovered on Stafford Common, during the search for a water supply for the town. This led to the opening of the Brine Baths in Greengate Street in 1892, designed by George Wormald. Its royal title was granted after a visit by the Duchess of Teck in 1895. A swimming pool, Turkish baths and a several therapeutic pools were provided. Entrance cost sixpence.

The Spire was part of an open-sided tower used by the fire brigade to dry their hoses and store their ladder; rowing boats and canoes could be hired from 'Old Joe' the boat man, whose boatyard was located at the side of the baths.

The baths were demolished in 1977 when the building was found to be unsafe. Stafford Borough Council's offices now stand on this site.

Postcard published by Boots Cash Chemists and postmarked 13 September 1912.

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Donor ref:03_008r (224/37436)

Source: Mr Jake Whitehouse

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