- From the BBC Leeds Web Site (see original article)
The Gipton Spa Bath House built in 1671 is still fed by spring water and BBC Radio Leeds Steve Bailey has been taking the plunge (almost).
The Friends of Gledhow Valley Woods will be opening the building to the public on Sunday 14 September 2008 as part of the Heritage Open Weekend in Leeds.
The bath house was constructed by Edward Waddington of Gledhow. Edward was the son-in-law of Alderman John Thwaites, who died the year that the Spa was built. Theories include the building the spa as a monument to Alderman Thwaites, or celebrating Edward becoming Lord of the Manor.
At times the bath was known as Gipton Spa, Gipton Well or the Waddington Bath. During the 18th century regular visits were paid to the site by fashion conscious bathers for the spa's supposed health-giving properties.
However by 1834, writing in the History of Leeds Edward, Parsons says: "The Waters of Gipton have lost their celebrity and are no longer frequented..." Although it was later reported that people in the neighbourhood still visited the spa.
In 2004 Leeds City Council fenced off the Bath House to try and reduce damage to the building from vandals and the Friends of Gledhow Valley Woods started the long process of restoring the spa's long-lost glory.
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