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Jubilee Pool, Penzance

Charlotte Stevens

Penzance, United Kingdom

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Artist's Description

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

Artwork Comments

  • Richard Hamilton-Veal
  • Charlotte Stevens
  • mscott207
  • Charlotte Stevens
  • rodsfotos
  • Charlotte Stevens
  • Wendy-Wilton
  • Charlotte Stevens
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