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Leamington's Development Into A Typical Spa Town

5505 words - 22 pages

Leamington's Development Into a Typical Spa Town

A typical spa town is known to be a place where mainly wealthy people
would come to consume the towns spa water as a laxative. After taking
the water the people would take a long stroll along the main street
known as the "parade" or "promenade" or maybe go to the gardens to
find suitable marriage partners.

To be given the proud name of a "spa town" the town would need to have
all these essentials; firstly the most important is the own supply of
water in the form of springs, wells and numerous baths and the pump
rooms. The entertainment facilities would have to include a theatre
and assembly rooms. There would need to be walkways and a main street
along with gardens. There would have to be Georgian/Pilladian/ Regency
architecture on all the main streets. Because spa towns would have
attracted a lot of tourism there would need to be many houses to
accomodate everyone, that would usually be found in circuses,
crescents, sqaures and terraces. There would also be a need for grand
hotels. Churches would also be a main part of a spa town, as people
would be religious, and of course good transport links.

All of this could never happen to a town without the odd determined
people who invested thier lives into making a town a succesfull spa
town.

Before Royal Leamington Spa was transformed into a spa town it was
initially known as Leamington Priors belonging to the Priory in
Kenilworth. It was a tiny village consisting of 300 people and 67
houses until the era of the 1800's. The land, in 1529, got passed
between numerous nobles, landowners and crowns. The spring waters were
first acknowledged in 1586 in the Camden Records, when it wasn't that
significant, the water was described as cold and salty, but towards
the end of the 18th century spa towns were becoming increasingly
famous and fashionable. It wasn't until 1786 that two friends William
Abbots and Benjamin Satchwell discovered a site of a new spring called
the Abbot's Saline Baths, which was later to be Smith's Baths. Over
the next few years an increasingly large amount of springs were being
establish, some on Bath Street, High Street and Clemens Street, these
were all to the south of the River Leam, and the only spring that was
found north of the river was the Pump Rooms in 1810. Because
Leamington was beginning to attract many tourists' grand architectural
buildings and hotels had to be constructed to accommodate the large
amount of people arriving everyday, and to persuade them to stay
longer.

Between 1800 and 1850 Leamington grew drastically as before it became
a spa town there were only 300 habitants but towards the end of the
transformation there were more than 15,000.

Springs & Wells:

The first spring found in Leamington was in a small pond outside All
...

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