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Ulster's best swimming spots - Victorian Bathing House, Ardglass Marina

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Victorian bathing, Ardglass, Co Down.

Victorian bathing, Ardglass, Co Down.

PAUL MCCAMBRIDGE

Victorian bathing, Ardglass, Co Down.

As we pulled into the car park at the Marina, we looked across to the harbour and saw the little building on the sand.

Part of the Ardglass Historic Trail, there is a plaque which tells us,

“the little Bathing house was built at the turn of the century by William Oglivie. At this time Ardglass was one of the most fashionable watering places in Ulster, nestling on the shoreline over looking the ancient Ward of Ardtole.”

Steps lead down from the footpath onto a small grassy patch, then one climbs down the rocks to the tiny stretch of sand. The Bathing House stands proud, looking like a miniature castle, as the tide rose, it surrounded the building and I could imagine the Victorian gents venturing out in their swimming attire, ready to brave the calm waters for “healthy exercise”

As I waded past this mini castle, I heard the eerie call of a seal, a long low howl - what a lonely sound.

A place to transport oneself back in time and imagine the many feet that have trodden these sands.

This is a little treasure of a building and I hope that it won’t be left to be battered by the elements such a nugget in the local history.

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