Turkish Baths in Harrogate - PR Shoot
Recently the famous Turkish Baths in Harrogate re-opened and I was asked to pop along for some PR photography to accompany the press release. As I love anything to do with history, I was delighted that I got a chance to have a wander through this amazing space and absorb some of the Victorian decadence. I often think if you created Venn diagram of history and photography that I would live a happy life in that little intersecting island.
A little History of the Royal Baths and Turkish Baths in Harrogate
Harrogate’s history of medicinal waters goes back at far as 1571 when William Slingsby came a across a mineral well on The Stray (Harrogate’s large 200 acres public parkland). The qualities of the water were likened to those of the famous Belgium resort, Spa. By 1600 Harrogate had become renowned for its healing waters.
Opening in 1897, by the Duke of Cambridge, The Turkish Baths were built on the site of the Montpellier Baths. It was a time of many flourishing Victorian Health resorts through-out the UK and there were many Turkish Baths.
In its heyday there were a baffling number of odd treatments available. Electric hydrotherapy, peat baths and saline sulphur treatments all sound somewhat unorthodox to the modern ear. Maybe Botox and Dermal fillers would appear strange to your average Victorian? Many royal visitors graced the baths with their patronage including member of the British Royal family.
I was only on-site for a little over an hour so had a fair bit of ground to cover. It would have been nice to get some atmosphere of the place when full of clients although as you can imagine, that’s a bit tricky to shoot. The brief stated some general room shots and if possible, a few staff pictures. I managed to tick most things off and I was completely charmed by the sensitive restoration. The finest restored example of Victorian Turkish Baths in the UK remains a jewel in Harrogate’s crown.
PR Photgraphy in Yorkshire