Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NS 57855 66510
257855, 666510


John Burnet Senior, 1871, with later additions (see Notes) including 1875 (Turkish Baths); and additions by A Myles of 1893; and B Conner of 1902. Important example of a Classical style baths complex, with Italian Renaissance influence to detail. 2-storey, 9-bay, polished ashlar, round arches to all ground floor openings mostly arranged in groups of 3.

PRINCIPAL ELEVATION: 2 asymmetrically arranged blocks. S block slightly recessed; channelled pilasters support pediment with floral acroterion over wide centre bay with 3 arched openings; (that to left now door) roundels in spandrels; flanking the pilasters, outer bays with single window each. Centre block with outer clasping pilasters (channelled at ground) flank 3-arch arcade deeply recessed arched entrance. Paired columns on raised pedestal with foliate capitals support arcade. Shallow recessed 5-arch window arcade at upper floor. N block (swimming pool) with pediments as described above at terminal bays. 2 centre bays at 3-grouped windows which flank arched door-piece. 1st floor windows rectangular single-lights, linked by moulded band course stepped over windows. Cornice to ground and 1st floors; deep plain parapet.

Predominantly 3-pane glazing pattern. Slate roof, some stacks and louvered vents.

INTERIOR: (seen 2012). POOL: Exposed timber roof trusses to pool area and timber dog leg stair. Terrazzo pool surrounds with brass plates 'take off boots before crossing'. Many early fittings and pool apparatus, including hanging rings and trapeze. Main pool flanked by timber panelling and doors, leading into Junior and Senior plunge baths, most with original fittings and chrome fixtures; various changing rooms and offices. Tiling and lamp brackets.

Several formal rooms at ground and first floor, including former dining room, billiards room and reading room. Architectural features such as open timber roof, plaster cornice and fireplaces survive to these rooms. Including a carved timber War Memorial commemorating the fallen Club members from WW1 and WW2.

TURKISH BATH: Square plan Turkish bath to rear with rendered walls and cement beehive shape roof with central square louvered cast iron ventilator; 3 rows of small coloured glass quatrefoil skylights pierce roof imitating night sky effect. Ornate encaustic tiling to floor.

Statement of Special Interest

Arlington Baths Club is an outstanding and early example of an early private members swimming baths, with Turkish Baths and other facilities, for it survives largely as it was built in the late 19th and early 20th century. It has a good interior and was designed by one of the leading architects of the period. It is reputedly the oldest private swimming club in continuous operation in Britain since it opened its doors in 1871, and is one of seven surviving baths in Britain dating from the 1870s remaining in use.

Arlington Baths was an exclusive club aimed at Glasgow's rising middle-class. It formed a part of Glasgow's Charing Cross and West End expansion of the city, which was becoming an increasingly desirable area to live.

Originally, in 1871, there was a swimming pool, or pond, with a suite of adjacent private baths connected in a single storey elevation. By 1875 these were extended to the rear to include Turkish baths, and later a reading and billiard room by 1893. Shortly afterwards the grand classical entrance hall was added. By 1902 upper storeys were added to the private baths area, resulting in the elevation presently seen on Arlington Street (2013).

William Harley was the first to offer indoor baths in Glasgow, at Willowbank in 1804. Swimming became increasingly popular as a sport and pastime during the late 19th century and swimming clubs were established to cater to the professional classes who were becoming more aware of the benefits of exercise and general health and wellbeing. New pools being built were enlarged, to accommodate the shift from plunge pools to large swimming pools. The Arlington Baths Club proved so successful that its membership topped 600 by 1875. Thus a wave of successive clubs opened in Glasgow such as the Western Baths at Hillhead. Edinburgh got its own club in 1884 with the opening of Drumsheugh.

The architect John Burnet Senior was largely self taught and started his practice in 1843 where he worked largely in the Alloa-Clackmannan region. He received many commissions in Glasgow with his designs for his Greek Revival styled Elgin Place Congregational Church (now demolished), and would continue to emulate classical architecture in numerous commissions in his career, including the Arlington Street Baths.

Category changed from B to A and list description updated as part of the sporting buildings thematic study (2012-13).



2nd Edition Ordnance Survey Map (1894). Building News (28 July 1871). Plans of alterations in Strathclyde Regional Archives. Dean of Guilds 1893-1/577 & 1902-1/9154. Scottish Country Life (February 1914). E Williamson, A Riches & M Higgs, Buildings of Scotland - Glasgow (1990), p280. Dr I Gordon and S Inglis, Great Lengths: The historic indoor swimming pools of Britain (2009), pp70-71. Dictionary of Scottish Architects (accessed 13-06-2013).

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

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Printed: 27/01/2023 11:00