Office life awaits for once grand Victorian bath house

By Robert Firth, Local Democracy Reporter

A former home to Victorian swimming baths is set to get a new lease of life as offices for a skateboarding brand.

Manor Place Baths, in Walworth, could become home to Palace – a skateboarding and clothing company based in the capital, plans submitted to Southwark council reveal.

Palace’s offices would be based in the front of the Grade-II listed building and would include refurbished retail space for product launches and other promotions under the proposals being brought forward by the skateboarding brand, alongside Newmark Properties and Shoreditch design studio Whitepaper.

The paved-over main swimming pool at Manor Place Baths (Picture: Southwark council planning documents)

Documents submitted to the council read: “The scheme will comprise the following works: the provision of commercial floorspace, including ancillary retail space envisioned to facilitate independent product launches, brick cleaning works, the replacement of the existing ground and first floor level skylight [and] the installation of a new metal door at the site’s western elevation.”

A non-original office toilet and shower will also be bulldozed under the plans, as well as internal partition walls and doors. The development will be car-free, but include a total of 38 cycle spaces (24 inside and 14 outside).

Notting Hill Genesis previously submitted plans to turn the front of the former baths into flats in 2021 as part of its Manor Place Depot housing development. While hundreds of these homes are now complete, the bath house aspect of the scheme never came to anything.

Manor Place Baths was built in 1898 and originally included three swimming pools, showers, changing rooms and even an area to do laundry.

A CGI of how the former Walworth baths could look once refurbished (Picture: Southwark council planning documents)

The baths served the Walworth community until the 1970s when the opening of modern facilities at the nearby Elephant and Castle Leisure Centre sounded the death knell for the Victorian baths.

After the closure of Manor Place Baths, Southwark council paved over the main swimming pool and demolished part of the rear of the complex.

In the following years, the baths were used as offices for the council and at one point rented out by a Buddhist organisation for meditation.

Southwark council will make a decision on the latest plans for Manor Place Baths at a later date.

Pictured top: Exterior of Manor Place Baths in Walworth (Picture: Southwark council planning documents)

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