Played in Britain
Charting the heritage of a nation at play
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...
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
Bowled Over author on tour - dates for your diary
July 22 2016
Bowled Over author Hugh Hornby will be out and about this summer visiting tournaments and signing copies of his much praised new book on the bowling greens of Britain. You can catch him at Ayr in Scotland, Llay in Wales and Leamington in England over late July and August. For more details see our Events diary.
English Heritage proposes jousting as an Olympic sport
July 21 2016
Played in Britain's former partners English Heritage have suggested that the ancient sport of jousting – especially popular in Tudor England – should become part of the summer Olympic programme. Apart from being popular as a spectacle at English Heritage events, jousting is a recognised sport in several US states, while tournaments have been held in a variety of countries, including Belgium and New Zealand.
Work on Rugby Hall of Fame proceeds
June 9 2016
Rugby Art Gallery has announced that it is to host a new rugby Hall of Fame, celebrating 120 personalities who have shaped the game. Design work on the exhibition is being carried out by the same team responsible for the National Football Museum in Manchester and is expected to be open to the public in September.
New heritage centre and gallery for horseracing nears completion at Newmarket
June 9 2016
After years of bursting at the seams at its town centre headquarters, the National Horseracing Museum in Newmarket is soon set to re-open at its splendid new headquarters, Palace House, originally built for Charles II, and the adjoining Kings Yard Stables.
1851 Rugby rulebook discovered in depository sells for £13,000
May 16 2016
Discovered in a depository and belonging to fomer pupil WH Waddington (who later became the Prime Minister of France), a pocket-sized rulebook listing the 'Laws of Football' at Rugby School in 1851 has been sold at auction for £13,000 to a private collector. One rule states that 'All matches are drawn after five days, or after three days if no goal is kicked'.
• For more on the story, visit bbc.co.uk
Paralympic heritage wins lottery funding
May 12 2016
Britain's sporting heritage has received a boost with the news that the Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded £214,600 to a newly formed National Paralympic Heritage Trust. Based at the world famous Stoke Mandeville Stadium - whose story is told in The British Olympics - the NPHT seeks to bring together personal stories, memorabilia and artefacts from the Paralympic movement, with a view to creating outreach programmes, a heritage centre and a virtual museum.
• For more on the story, visit paralympics.org.uk
Selected titles from Played in Britain
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.
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