The Bath House is built in the early 19th century and is closely associated with the adjacent Salt Works. Salt water is pumped to the bath house boiler by a wind pump via an overhead wooden channel. Hot, saltwater baths, with their supposed therapeutic benefits, become a popular tourist attraction and help the Salt Works to remain viable through the early years of the 19th century when demand for Southwold sea salt declines under pressure from recently exploited rock salt deposits.
Note: The bath house is sometimes confused with an earlier, outdoor saltwater bath whichwas established by John Thompson in 1766 at the river end of Ferry Lane. It was known as Thompson's Folly and was not a commercial success.
Although commercial salt production ceases with the winding up of the company the bathouse continues operating for a further few years.
With acknowledgment to Rosemary Wiliamson's booklet 'The Saga of Southwold Salt Makers' on sale from Southwold Museum.