Esoteric London

No. 432: Hornsey Road, N7

Posted in Lettering by esotericlondon on October 25, 2011

Hornsey Road, London, N7. Photo © Roger Dean 2011

Penny Cyclopaedia – Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, c. 1850:

The movement [that of public baths and washhouses] was practically initiated by the holding of an influential meeting at the Mansion House, under the presidency of the Lord Mayor, in September 1844; when resolutions were passed for the formation of an ‘Association for Promoting Cleanliness amongst the Poor;’ and an active subscription was commenced. The first experiment was made in a wretched locality near the London Docks, where in an open court, called Glasshouse Yard, Rosemary Lane, an old but spacious building, which had for some time been occupied by ‘sleeping-berths for the houseless poor,’ was rented and converted into the first ‘Free Baths and Wash-houses,’ and opened in May 1845. A portion of the building was adapted, as well as it could be at a small expense, to the purpose, and furnished with a due supply of tubs and boilers, and with a few baths in various out-of-the-way recesses; and soap and soda, as well as hot and cold water, were provided gratuitously. The number of persons who availed themselves of the establishment was, in the first year, 27,662 bathers and 36,577 washers; in the second year there were 84,584 bathers and washers.