Portreath Bathing Pools

Portreath Bathing Pools

On the beach at Portreath there are six rectangular pools cut into the rock. These were created in the late 1700s on the orders of Frances Basset at Tehidy for his wife and daughter. During Georgian times, it was widely believed that bathing in cold saltwater was especially good for one's health and this continued into Victorian times with bathing machines being created to avoid ladies being seen in their extensive swimming garments.

There are two other pools on the other side of the beach, one large one which is thought to have been constructed in the 20th Century and a smaller one nearby. It isn't known if these were originally created by Basset (and subsequently enlarged in the case of the bigger pool) or were just inspired by his original pools.

Basset's pools at Portreath are thought to be slightly later than the one constructed in Mounts Bay by John Stackhouse (owner of the Pendarves Estate) for his sickly wife. It's possible that Basset's pools were inspired by this, particularly as the Pendarves Estate is not far from the home of the Bassets at Tehidy so there would have been social contact.

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