A Lost Turkish Bath at Thai Square Spa

Charing Cross Turkish Baths for Ladies & Gentlemen Located at 25 Northumberland Avenue

1884 Charing Cross Turkish Baths for Ladies & Gentlemen

    Henry and James Forder Nevill (Proprs)

1900 Charing Cross Turkish baths for Ladies & Gentlemen

   James Forder Nevill (Propr)

1908 Charing Cross Turkish baths for Ladies & Gentlemen

  Nevill's Turkish Baths Ltd (Proprs)

1948 Charing Cross Turkish baths for Ladies & Gentlemen

 Nevill's Turkish Baths Ltd (Proprs)

   Baths close

Exterior view of Nevill's headquarters building,Northumberland Avenue, London

Architect Robert Walker, FRIBA, fashioned the structure in the Italian Classic style. The entire front exterior is covered in Portland stone, and the rounded corner, serving as the entrance to the men's baths, is bordered by four Corinthian order granite columns. Engaged columns adorn the upper levels, culminating in a prominent clock turret with an illuminated dial, crafted by Messrs Gillett and Co of Croydon—a company that continues its operations in Croydon to this day.

Dedicated to the Turkish baths, the entirety of the basement, ground floor, and first floor is allocated for this purpose. In contrast, the upper segment of the establishment is leased independently for offices or apartments and boasts a distinct entrance at the southern end of the building.

View of the Gentlemen's cooling-room and part of the Gallery in Nevill's Turkish baths in Northumberland Avenue.The fountain was in Doultons' Lambeth faïence. A decade later, a similar one was included in the cooling-room at the New Broad Street baths.
View of the ground floor cooling-room and part of the gallery. The windows at the rear of the picture overlook the passage between the men's and women's baths.

At various points in time, the Neville family possessed a total of nine Turkish baths, all located within London. Among these, four were effectively paired establishments, constructed side by side. The larger facility catered to (Gentle)men, while its adjacent counterpart was designed for women (Ladies).

In Northumberland Avenue, the paired baths, from the perspective of bathers, were distinctly separate with individual entrances. The women's entrance was discreetly positioned around the corner in Northumberland Passage (now Craven Passage).

Externally, there was no evident indication visible from Northumberland Avenue that a Turkish bath, adorned in Moorish style, existed within the building. However, it is likely that planning regulations were more lenient in the narrow pedestrian passageway, providing access to the women's baths.

This marked the conclusion of three new buildings commissioned by the Nevilles from architect Robert Walker, FRIBA. Subsequent establishments involved the transformation of existing Turkish baths, acquired as ongoing concerns, and underwent extensive refurbishment to align with the company's distinctive house style.

The Nevilles, following in the footsteps of Bartholomew and his Turkish baths, recognized the significance of making their establishments immediately identifiable as Nevill establishments. This was reflected in their naming convention, where the family dropped the final 'e'. Each bath featured double doors adorned with red stained-glass crescents and stars set in leaded panels. Particularly noteworthy was the splendid assortment of highly patterned Craven Dunnill tiles, extensively used to enhance the aesthetic appeal of their buildings.

The ground floor cooling-room and part of the gallery at Northumberland Avenue provide a captivating view, with windows overlooking the passage between the men's and women's baths, showcasing the meticulous design and attention to detail characteristic of Neville establishments.

At Thai Square Spa, our unique location within the same building that once housed the Nevill's Turkish Bath allows us to showcase the original part of the Nevill's Turkish Baths in our Salon room on the ground level.

Salon Room at Thai Square Spa
Original Nevill's Turkish Bath Wall in Thai Square Spa