Wiltshire Publications

Issue 474 – Westbury Pool granted listed status

WESTBURY’S historic swimming pool has been given listed status by the Secretary of State.

The listing of the Victorian pool has already come into effect, and it is now designated as a Grade II listed building. Grade II buildings are those that are deemed to be “nationally important and of special interest.”
The application to list Westbury Pool was made earlier this year as part of the campaign to Save Westbury Pool. The application was then fast-tracked, with the listing being granted last week.
Mike Cuthbert-Murray, town and county councillor and president of the former Save Westbury Pool Committee, who instigated the application said “I’m absolutely over the moon, it’s a safeguard for the building and pool which is good.”
Westbury Pool was presented to the town by local woollen mill owner William Henry Laverton Esq, on 11th May 1887. Several important reasons to recommend designating the pool as Grade II have been identified by English Heritage, which is the Government’s statutory advisor on the historic environment, with responsibility for listing. The principle reasons given are as follows:
• Architectural interest: the building displays good quality late-Victorian style architectural detailing and decorations and makes a strong architectural statement in the town.
• Date: Opened in 1888, it is an early example of a Victorian indoor swimming pool that has remained in use as a public pool.
• Historic interest: it was a gift to the town of Westbury from the local mill owner William Henry Laverton, and built in celebration and commemoration of Queen Victoria’s Jubilee.
• Group value: it forms an important group and is historically associated with the Grade II designated Angel Mill.