Mineral Baths (Spa)

Mineral Baths (Spa) along Ashby Road in Hinckley, built 1849

An engraved view of the Mineral Baths c.1849
An engraved view of the Mineral Baths c.1849

In Hinckley there were several Mineral Springs around the area during the 19th Century which were Cogg's Well, Christopher Stevenson's Spa, and the Priest Hills. There were also the ‘Holy Well’ London Road and the Mineral Baths to the North of the town along Ashby Road.

The Mineral Baths along Ashby Road were built by James Holier in 1849. In May 1849 the baths were open to the public, and ground has been laid out for the recreation of visitors attending to drink the water and take the baths.

Mervyn Patterson who wrote ‘An Historical Study of the Town and Neighbourhood (London and Hinckley 1849)’, states that 'Hinckley has for centuries been celebrated or the beauty of the country around and its healthfulness'. 'The Baths which have been built on the site of the mineral springs and are rapidly approaching completion, and it is expected they will be opened at the beginning of the next month.

19th May 1849 A report in the Leicester Mercury stated ‘Independent of the valuable properties of the water, the sanitary effects of a swimming pool in this neighbourhood must be widely felt'.

25th May 1849 The Leicester Journal wrote 'The building is in the Tudor style of architecture and has been erected by Mr Harrold, builder, who has now undertaken to build a swimming bath, in connection with the other baths, which, when completed, will be 60 feet long by 20 feet wide'. One acre of grounds was 'to be tastefully laid out during the summer'. 'It is a pleasing sign of the times that the sanitary condition of the people is being provided for, and we know of no means so conducive as "public baths" and we earnestly hope that the effects of the spirited proprietor will be duly supported'.

9th June 1849 An article in The Leicester Mercury said, ‘It was hoped that an arrangement could be made with the Hinckley Feoffees so that the factory operatives might swim and bathe there for 1d’.

14th July 1849 The Leicester Mercury wrote another article, 'These baths continue to increase daily in public estimation', attracting visitors from 'very remote distances'. 'I am quite prepared to see Hinckley containing its Pump Room and other places of fashionable resort, so that ages to come may yet record its celebrity amongst the Pierian Springs of more modern times'.

1874 Baxter wrote during the summer, 'These baths are situated on the side of the turnpike road leading to Ashby-de-la-Zouch, and about a quarter of a mile out of the town. The building is a very convenient one, and ample accommodation was afforded to bathers. It comprised a swimming bath, with dressing boxes, together with hot and cold water and shower baths, at a charge of 6d., 9d., and 1s. The reputation of these waters, which were plentiful, made the vicinity a great public thoroughfare; but they never rendered the proprietor a fair remuneration for the outlay of his money'. After the death of James Hollier it was owned by Thomas Harrold (who was in partnership with Ben Law, Charlotte Brame's father), then after his death by Thomas Foxon, who licensed it and opened the adjacent 'pleasure grounds'.

1892 The Mineral Baths were demolished to make way for the new hotel ‘Mineral Baths Hotel’ that would be built by Messrs. Alsopp and Sons. In later years the Mineral Baths Hotel would change its name to ‘The Kiwi’ as a public house, and then finally to the ‘Ashby Tavern’.