In the mid-18th century society rediscovered the health-giving qualities of sea bathing and the drinking of natural mineral water. Bathing establishments, therefore, became an important part of the social scene in a Southampton eager to attract visitors to the town. Early in the 19th century the principal baths were:

1) Chilton’s Baths: these were situated in the same complex as the Long Rooms on the west side of Western Esplanade, at the back of the assembly rooms, (later named Webb and Clark).
2) Goodman’s: situated on the south side of West Quay. Reached from Cuckoo Lane some 100 yards south of Westgate Street.
3) Cole’s: just south of Itchen Ferry.
4) Royal Gloucester Subscription Baths: These baths were the last throw of Southampton as a fashionable seaside resort. They were built on the Beach, near the Platform, in 1827 in the Grecian style of architecture. They were built by Daniel Brooks “from a very chaste design” by George Draper of Chichester. The baths were of marble and consisted of warm, cold, shower, vapour, sulphur, medicinal & plunging baths. The building was converted to the Dock's Office in 1839, and demolished in 1846 to make way for the new Customs House
5) Regent’s Baths: on the north side of Regent Street at the eastern end of the street, c.1930.
Charles Pardey became proprietor of the Regent's Baths in spring 1834. After extensive rebuilding, they were re-opened on 26 May 1834 (Hampshire Advertiser, 21 June 1834). Comprising about 20 rooms, with stable, offices and – under the same roof – a 7-bedroomed house, the facilities included warm, cold, shower, vapour, sulphur and medicinal baths

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