DERBYSHIRE HERITAGE Derbyshire Peak District - higger-tor

Stoney Middleton Roman Baths
Stoney Middleton Roman Baths Stoney Middleton Roman Baths

Although popularly known as the Roman Baths, there is no evidence that the Romans ever built a bath here. Roman coins have been found locally, so possible offerings were made at the spring. In the Middle Ages, the water was believed to have curative properties and the nearby church is dedicated to St Martin, the patron saint of cripples.

The spring has a constant temperature of 63°C In 1734 Dr. Short's treatise on Mineral Waters claimed that the water could be "drunk more freely and safely than at Buxton, as it is cooler". It was thought to benefit sufferers from rheumatism and other illnesses less readily recognisable today, such as 'too great heat' and 'saltness of blood'.

In 1789, a writer called Pilkington suggested that more people would try the waters if the then open bath was covered in. Early the next century Thomas Denman, Lord Chief Justice of England and owner of Stoney Middleton Hall took up the idea. By 1815 there were separate baths for men and women, each with its own window, changing room and fireplace. However, his attempt to establish Stoney Middleton as a spa failed and the buildings gradually fell into disrepair.

In 1980 the bath houses were classified as a 'Listed Building'. Between 1985 and 1992 the bath houses and the surroundings were restored by Stoney Middleton Parish Council, with financial support from the Peak National Park Authority.

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