The Jubilee Pool
Situated at the eastern end of Penzance's promenade is one of the jewels in Penzance's crown - the iconic art deco Jubilee Pool. Opened in 1935, to celebrate King George V's Silver Jubilee the pool is testament to Penzance's standing as one of the country's premier holiday resorts of the time.
The pool (or lido as such open air pools are known) is a striking piece of architecture that does justice to its location on the tip of Penzance's "Holy Headland". It was designed by Captain F. Latham, the borough engineer, and features a triangular shape which both follows the line of the rock and presents an aspect able to withstand the force of winter storms. Inside and out, sweeping curves mark the boundaries defining the pool's art deco credentials. The lido itself is arranged with platforms of several levels offering areas for sun bathing and viewing the bathing area.
As you would expect the water comes direct from the sea of the Promenade. To avoid the water level rising and falling with the tide there are gates on the western side of the pool allowing water in and out as and when required.
The location of the pool at Battery Rocks has always been an area popular with swimmers. Even to this day swimmers go in off the headland daily throughout the year. However, in the days before the pool was built this was exclusively the preserve of men. Ladies did bathe at other points along the Promenade beach but this often involved the use of cumbersome bathing machines to protect the lady's dignity should anyone see more than an uncovered ankle! The Jubilee Pool saw the start of an era where this prudishness was abandoned and the benefits of taking the waters in the open air where extolled.
Since its heyday the fortune of the Jubilee Pool have ebbed and waned with the fortunes of Penzance. During the late 1980s the bathing pool fell into a state of disrepair with over £250,000 being required to repair the both the structure and inner lining of the pool. The pool did in fact close for period in the early 1990s but the formation of the Jubilee Pool Association, lead by architect John Clarke, coerced Penwith Council into remedying the situation and the Jubilee Pool became a listed building in the process.
These days the future of the pool is one of only a small number of the 1930s lidos built around the UK. At 73 metres by 100 metres in length the Jubilee Pool is not only the largest seawater lido, but the largest surviving outdoor lido in the country.
Closed during the winter months, the pool is open to bathers from May to September. Situated overlooking the pool is the Poolside Café which is a great spot to start the day with a coffee or a spot of lunch.
The pool opens daily from 10.30am to 6pm (7pm Thursday) with half price entry after 3.30pm.