This floating castle appears to be from an enchanted fable, but in actuality it is Europe's best preserved Renaissance water castle.
The original Cliftonville Baths, which would later be known as the The Lido at Margate, were constructed between 1824-1828 by John Boys. Located in the seaside town in the district of Thanet in Kent, England, it was the only known example of a sea bathing establishment that was carved into existing cliffs.
Thomas Dalby Reeve purchased the site in 1869 and transformed it into a drill hall and a boiler house for the local Artillery Volunteers.
By 1903, a cinema had been installed into the former drill hall and operated for two decades. The Clifton Baths were then re-modeled under John Henry Iles – an amusement park tycoon – who turned the venue back into a bathing facility called the Lido.
The cream-coloured Art Deco complex has porthole windows, bright red roof tiles and is marked by an ornamental tower reading “LIDO”. The tower was once a chimney in the original sea-bathing complex.
Today the facility is closed and has remained so for over 30 years. While the swimming pool has been filled in with concrete, the LIDO tower remains a landmark reminder of what the structure once offered.
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