Played in Britain

Charting the heritage of a nation at play

Now available

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personally signed by author Simon Inglis

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We publish books about Britain's sporting heritage. If you like an old scoreboard, or a mildewed pavilion; if you would like to know where to find the world's oldest bowling green, or the best Art Deco grandstand in London; if you're fed up with homogenised, commercialised sport, and long to dive into a Victorian swimming pool with gorgeous ceramic tiling; if you think potting balls all afternoon in a dimly-lit billiard hall is definitely not time mis-spent; if you have ever wondered why tennis and suburbia go together so well, then Played in Britain is for you...

Find out more about Played in Britain, our books and our authors

I love this kind of history... The great value of the books is that they help us to remember, to see more clearly, and hopefully to preserve the many ways in which Britain is a country shaped by sport.

Sarah Crompton, Daily Telegraph

Played in Britain news feed: reporting on Britain's sporting heritage

Britain's oldest swimming pools get go ahead for restoration

Britain's oldest swimming pools get go ahead for restoration

August 12 2014

Tucked away in the backstreets of Bath, the wonderful open air Cleveland Pools are to be restored after years of campaigning. Opened nearly 200 years ago in 1815, with crescent shaped changing rooms alongside the River Avon (as featured in Liquid Assets), the pools are the oldest public swimming facility known in Britain. Funding worth over £4 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund will see swimming return to the site for the first time since 1978.

For the full story, see and

London conference highlights importance of oral history

London conference highlights importance of oral history

July 31 2014

This year's Sports Heritage Network conference, to be staged at the British Library on September 14, investigates the role that oral history plays in our understanding and recording of sporting history. Barnsley poet Ian McMillan and National Football Museum curator Kevin Moore are among the speakers. Played in Britain will be there too, running a bookstall, with signed copies of Played in London (out on September 1) on sale.

For booking details and conference programme, visit

CAMRA search for historic clubs

CAMRA search for historic clubs

June 19 2014

For over 40 years the Campaign for Real Ale has promoted the cause of historic pubs. Now it is turning its attention to historic clubs - that is Working Men's Clubs, Trades Clubs and the like, several of which have been featured in various Played in Britain titles (such as the 1899 Surbiton Club, left, in Played in London). CAMRA is particularly keen to track down and record examples of well preserved pre-1971 club interiors.

For more details, visit, and you can also download the nomination form and leaflet.

Campaign to reopen historic east London pool relaunches

Campaign to reopen historic east London pool relaunches

June 3 2014

While over in Stratford the £269 million Aquatics Centre has opened to great acclaim, campaigners in neighbouring Hackney have relaunched their campaign to reopen the Grade II listed Haggerston baths, built in 1904 but closed since February 2000. Designed by AWS Cross, Haggerston baths is featured in two Played in Britain books, Great Lengths and Played in London, on sale from September 1.

For more on this story, see

Played in London

Played in London publication date announced

May 16 2014

Played in Britain and English Heritage are delighted to announce that the publication date for the next book in the acclaimed Played in Britain series has now been confirmed. Played in London – charting the heritage of a city at play, written by series editor Simon Inglis, will go on sale on September 1.

For more details, read the full Played in London news story.

Fears for lidos in the southwest

Fears for lidos in the southwest

March 2 2014

Lovers of outdoor swimming fear that the opening of Tinside Lido in Plymouth may have to be delayed this summer after the Grade II listed pool was damaged in recent storms. This follows the severe battering of the Jubilee Pool in Penzance last month, also Grade II, which suffered extensive damage. No doubt the subject will come up at the next meeting of the Historic Pools Network on March 11 at Aston University.

For more on both pools see Liquid Assets and

For more on the Historic Pools Network see our news article from 2013.

Selected titles from Played in Britain

Liquid Assets

Great Lengths

The historic indoor swimming pools of Britain

By Dr Ian Gordon and Simon Inglis

Book information | Buy now

Played at the Pub

Played at the Pub

The pub games of Britain

By Arthur Taylor

Book information | Buy now

Played in Manchester

Played in Manchester

Charting the heritage of a city at play

By Simon Inglis

Book information | Buy now

Full of warm nostalgia, but in a serious meaty way, absorbing detail and fascinating social history… the usual Played in Britain trick (is) luring you into their world and making you care as much as they do about something to which you’d barely given a thought before. And… the quality of the photography is superb.

The Observer

For me, this series of books is invaluable. Previous lack of attention by sports historians to the built environment and the way this reflected or impacted on sport is now being redressed. Long may this excellent work continue.

Richard W Cox (University of Manchester) Sport in History

I love your books... keep this wonderful stuff coming.

Brenda Grace, Pontefract

Hugely impressive and immensely important, Played in Britain (is) rapidly becoming the guardian of the nation's sporting heritage.

A marvellous series - how did we ever do without it?

Brian Salter, East Grinstead

Played in Britain has a reputation for thoroughness and insight... editor Simon Inglis deserves credit for the clarity of his vision.

John Burnett, Folk Life: Journal of Ethnological Studies