In the eighteenth century the grounds of most large country estates boasted a bathing house or plunge pool. Built in all shapes and sizes, sometimes just for one person and occasionally for large groups, their design often reflected the classical style of their era. In addition to supposed health benefits, they provided an escape from the constraints and formality of life, and became a destination for walks, drives and alfresco entertainment. Mid-century, doctors began to promote salt-water bathing and a new generation of coastal bathing houses grew up. From several hundred bathing houses and plunge pools still in existence, often in remote corners of beautiful landscapes, this book presents examples that reflect the diversity of the ideas and fashions which inspired them.
Vivien Rolf holds a Master of Arts degree in Eighteenth Century Studies, and has a special interest in the English landscape garden and its buildings. She lives in near Fareham, Hampsire.