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Preliminary designs, designs and a finished drawing for a bath house and a reservoir, c1774, unexecuted (12)

It is suggested that the intended site for the bath house is now occupied by Adam’s cottages and swan pond (SM Adam volume 41/60-63). Witham’s Spa in Essex was established in c1736, some years before this design for Mistley, and during the nineteenth century a number of further spas and bath houses would be established in the surrounding area. Adam’s grand scheme for Mistley, however, was never executed.

The drawings for the bathes refer to the surrounding waters alternatively as sea (SM Adam volume 41/58) and river (SM Adam volume 41/53). The inclusion of salt water bathes in the design may be in error, possibly revealing a lack in knowledge of the surrounding landscape. Positioned on the estuary of the River Stour, it is unlikely there would have been a ready supply of salt water available.

The reservoir was to be positioned 66 feet from the baths themselves, and Rowan notes a sixteenth-century Italianate garden influence in the design, with its reclining statue set within a deep arch. There is an additional drawing for this design for a reservoir in the collections of the V & A (3436.21).

SM Adam volumes 10/78 and 41/57 reveal a circular room with a bow window, for which the inscriptions identify as either the sea or tea room.
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