Save our heritage plea over Sheffield's Victorian bath house

The abandoned Grade II listed Birley Spa Bath House
The abandoned Grade II listed Birley Spa Bath House
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Sheffield conservationists are dismayed that the only remaining Victorian spa in South Yorkshire is up for sale.

The Grade II listed Birley Spa Bath House, which is set in its original grounds at Hackenthorpe, has been put on the market by Sheffield Council.

The abandoned Grade II listed Birley Spa Bath House

The abandoned Grade II listed Birley Spa Bath House

But Hallamshire Historic Buildings claim its part of a “larger strategy” by the council to dispose of the city’s heritage.

Nick Roscoe, caseworker for Hallamshire Historic Buildings said: "It's no surprise Sheffield Council is planning to sell this building. This is part of a larger strategy of disposal of heritage sites and the council will be more interested in reducing maintenance costs and predicting their outgoings than in whatever money they can make from this sale.

“However this site is very important to the local community and would be of interest to the wider community - it's a listed building and is thought to be the only Victorian Bath House intact with its grounds in South Yorkshire.

“There may be limited resources, but we can't be talking huge sums here and it is very difficult to put a price on the value people can find in heritage.

“People find real value discovering their shared past and keeping this building open to the public, rather than placed in private hands, would bring a community together.

“Sheffield Council should take this building off the market and give the Friends group that is stepping forward the time they need to put forward their proposals.”

Coun Ian Saunders, who is the council’s Heritage Champion, says he is meeting with officers this week to discuss the situation.

He said: “This has been brought to my attention by conservation groups and I am looking into it to see exactly what the position is and will be talking to officers.

The bath house was once a thriving and popular place for people to bathe. It won an award when the council spent £500,000 renovating the site in 2002, before it was eventually neglected and left to decay once again.

The council says it has been reviewing all the options but no decisions have been made.