York Hall

York Hall Profile

  • LOCATION: Bethnal Green, London
  • COUNTRY: United Kingdom
  • YEAR OPENED: 1929
  • CAPACITY: 1,200
  • OWNER: Tower Hamlets Council
  • GAME: Boxing

The York Hall is a health and leisure centre and one of Britain's best known boxing venues.It is situated on Old Ford Road in Bethnal Green, London, England. The hall, opened in 1929 with a capacity of 1,200, stages boxing as well as providing a gymnasium and swimming pool.

The hall is owned by Tower Hamlets Council and in 2004 was threatened with closure.The Hall was saved and in 2005 it underwent a major multi-million pound refurbishment in a joint project between the local Tower Hamlets council and Greenwich Leisure. The site is split into two sections: a leisure centre and a hall with gymnasium.

The historic Turkish Bath or banya in the basement was the last publicly run example in the East End of London. In 1972 there were still six Turkish baths, a legacy of the high Jewish population of Russian and Polish origin. This included the traditional suites of Russian and Turkish steam rooms, sauna, relaxation lounge. This popular and often full facility was closed and re-branded as and upmarket "Spa London" by the council in July 2007, amid vocal protests from its users. Treatment rooms were added to provide a range of upmarket beauty treatments. Where customers used to give each other a massage with the traditional Yiddish schmeis free of charge they now have to pay 56 on top of the 21 admission, whilst treatments such as Hydrotherapy Hydration Purity Rituals have been introduced. Neal Hounsell, Head of Leisure Services at Tower Hamlets, justified the re-branding on the basis that the Borough was one of the most deprived in London.

The York Hall Leisure Centre's facelift included a state-of-the-art gymnasium that doubled the size of the previous gym area, a refurbished reception area and pool and new changing rooms.