Tucked away in a woodland area on the southern outskirts of the industrial city of Sheffield, is a Victorian building with holy spring water.
The Birley Spa Bathhouse is a remarkable building that has been locally described as the best-kept secret in Sheffield. Although the spring was reputed to have been used by both the Neolithic occupants of the area and the Romans, the first written record of the use of the spring water was in the 18th century, when a Quaker family constructed a simple square building over the spring.
This once simple primitive bathhouse was demolished by the Earl Manvers—the local Lord of the manor—in 1843, to create an ambitious spa resort with luxury accommodation, both hot and cold plunge pools, and a pump room to allow guests to take the spring water with them.
The building sits in a delightful wooded valley and the spring water—said to have healing properties—issues continually from under the building itself, feeding a boating lake which was an installed in the early-20th century.