Jubilee Pool, Penzance by Charlotte Stevens

This is the beautiful curve of the Jubilee Pool in Penzance, Cornwall.
Described as one of the most unusual and pleasingly designed lidos of the era, the Jubilee Pool was designed in the early 1930s by Captain F Latham, the Borough Engineer. The pool was opened with great celebration in May 1935, the year of King George V’s Silver Jubilee.

The Pool was built upon a traditional bathing spot at the Battery Rocks near the harbour at Penzance. Cleverly designed to cope with the full ferocity of the Cornish seas, The pool is triangular in shape yet with gentle curves, making it a most pleasant environment. A contemporary guide book tells us that:

“In many respects the design is unique architecturally, partly from a point of view of necessity in conforming with existing conditions of wave elements and rocks which controlled the outline. Streamlines have been used to the greatest advantage in meeting the direction of the storm waves, while a Cubist style has been adopted in the interior in providing diving platforms and steps… The whole pool is surrounded by high streamlined sea walls terraced up within the interior so as to give aspect and effect. They also serve to strengthen the structure.” These walls also protect swimmers from strong, offshore winds and form terraces for spectators.

The pool was a popular amenity for over 50 years. However, by 1992 the pool had become dilapidated to the extent that its future operation was in doubt. Luckily a retired local architect, John Clarke, came to the rescue. He was alarmed when a proposal to build a copper coloured pyramid structure over the pool was mooted. The Jubilee Pool Association was formed and thanks to his direct input the pool was listed. In the following two years, John and members of the JPA worked voluntarily with Penwith District Council to secure grant funding to contribute to the pool’s restoration over two phases. In 1994, after essential restructural works, the pool reopened to much acclaim, and the scenes at the opening in 1935 were repeated some 60 years later.

Taken with a Sony Cyber Shot DSC-S930


  • Richard Hamilton-Veal
    Richard Hamilt...almost 5 years ago

    Gorgeous light Charlotte.

  • Thank you! The light in Cornwall can’t be beaten! :-)

    – Charlotte Stevens

  • mscott207
    mscott207almost 5 years ago

    nicely framed….i love leading lines like this. they grab your eye and direct it the entire way through the frame. very cool!

  • Charlotte Stevens
    Charlotte Stevensalmost 5 years ago

    Thank you for your lovely comment, the pool is such an amazing thing to photograph, especially in the stunning light here in Cornwall :-)

  • rodsfotos
    rodsfotosabout 4 years ago

    I really like how you used the curve of the wall in this composition Charlotte, very well seen and captured. I used to rent a holiday cottage near the parish church so know the pool very well, possibly know the inside of the Dolphin Inn even better though,
    Regards, Rod.

  • Thank you Rod :-) Here’s to the summer and the opening of the pool again.

    – Charlotte Stevens

  • Wendy-Wilton
    Wendy-Wiltonalmost 4 years ago

    Beautiful light and composition, a great shot

  • Thank you so much :-)

    – Charlotte Stevens

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