News from Played in Britain

Open House London 2012

September 5 2012

This year's Open House London takes place during the weekend of September 22-23 with a huge choice of buildings and events on offer throughout the capital. Played in Britain has selected venues we think will particularly appeal to those interested in sporting heritage.

Some visits must be booked in advance. For full details on all venues and to pre-book see:

Barking & Dagenham

Becontree Heath Leisure Centre, Althorne Way, Dagenham, RM10 7AY

Brand new state of the art leisure centre designed by S&P Architects, co-designers with Zaha Hadid Architects of the London 2012 Aquatics Centre. Pre-book tours only - christy.o'

Saturday - Sunday 10:00-13:00, last tour 12:00


Chislehurst Golf Club, Camden Place, Camden Park Road, Chislehurst, BR7 5HJ

Now an exclusive golf club, but the home of Napoleon III from 1870-1880. A good example of an important house sustained by its sporting use. Pre-book only - 020 8467 2782

Saturday - Sunday: 10:00-12:00


Lee Valley Athletics Centre, 61 Meridian Way, Picketts Lock, N9 0AR

A world-class indoor training facility, the only one of its kind in the south east, designed to be highly sustainable by David Morley Architects.

Saturday - Sunday 10:00 – 17:00 (last entry 16:30)


Eltham Lodge, Royal Blackheath Golf Club, Court Road, SE9 5AF

Grade I listed house (originating in 1664) and home of Royal Blackheath, which claims to be the oldest golf club in the world, having formed in at least 1745 and possibly as early as 1603. The club moved to Eltham Lodge when it merged with Eltham Golf Club in 1923.

Tours: Sunday 10:00, 11:00, 12:00

Eltham Lodge, the Grade I listed clubhouse of Royal Blackheath Golf Club

Eltham Lodge, the Grade I listed clubhouse of Royal Blackheath Golf Club (© Simon Inglis)


Greenwich Yacht Club, Peartree Way, SE10 0BW

A striking contemporary timber and aluminium yacht club, designed by architects Frankl + Luty and opened in 2000. Worth visiting also for its stunning views of the river, the O2 Arena and Thames Barrier.

Saturday - Sunday 13:00–16:00

Hammersmith & Fulham

The Hurlingham Club, Ranelagh Gardens, SW6 3PR

Famous as a venue for polo, this is an 18th century mansion, which, since 1869, has been home to arguably London's most exclusive sports club. Beautiful house and 42 acres of grounds on the banks of the Thames, with bowling greens, croquet lawns, tennis courts and its own cricket ground.

Tours: Saturday 11:00, 15:00

Linden House, 60 Upper Mall, W6 9TA

Grade II listed, elegant double-fronted Georgian riverside residence built in 1733, home of the London Corinthian Sailing Club. A race starting box on the nearby river bank is a Civic Trust Award winner.

Sunday 13:00 - 17:00, talks on the hour, last talk 16:00


Indoor Athletics Centre, Brunel University, Kingston Lane, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH

A world class indoor athletics facility designed by David Morley Architects with a particularly elegant roof structure.

Saturday - Sunday 11:00-16:00 (architect led tour Sunday 13:00)


Brockwell Lido, Brockwell Park, Dulwich Road, SE24 0PA

Familiar to readers of Liquid Assets this classic Grade II listed LCC lido, opened in 1937, is well worth visiting to see the refurbishment and extension by Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects. Don't forget your swimming costume!

Saturday 10:00-17:00, last tour 16:00


Forest Hill Pools, Dartmouth Road, SE23 3HZ

A newly completed redevelopment of a Victorian swimming baths by Roberts Limbrick integrating the original facade into a contemporary building, including a striking zinc waved roof. Pre-book only -

Saturday tours 11:00, 13:00


Mitcham Cricket Club Pavilion 4 Cricket Green, Mitcham, CR4 4LA

A locally listed building which has been the club's pavilion for over 100 years whilst cricket has been played on Mitcham Cricket Green for over 300 years.

Saturday 10:00-17:00


The Pioneer Health Centre, St. Mary's Road, Peckham, SE15 2EE

Described by Walter Gropius as 'an oasis of glass in a desert of brick' this Grade II* listed Modernist building by Sir E Owen Williams is of interest to sports historians owing to its central swimming pool and the experimental ethos of its founders, as featured in Great Lengths. Because the centre is now occupied by private flats, Open House is a great opportunity to peek inside and relive the optimism of its 1930s social and medical pioneers. Highly recommended. Sunday 10:00–14:00, tours on the hour, last tour 13:00

The elegant diving boards at the Pioneer Health Centre.

The elegant diving boards at the Pioneer Health Centre. (© Simon Inglis)


National Tennis Centre Sports Canopy, 100 Priory Lane, Roehampton, SW15 5JQ

The world's first composite demountable air-beam canopy in the sports sector, spanning 42 metres, designed by George Stowell. An inspirational and clutter-free playing environment which also meets strict local planning policy on Metropolitan Open Land.

Saturday 10:00–17:00, last tour 16:30 (architect-led)

Tooting Bec Lido, Tooting Bec Road, SW16 1RU

Opened in 1906 and rebuilt in 1936, this colourful parkland lido is breathtakingly massive, said to be the largest outdoor pool in Europe. While you are there look out for Tooting Bec regular Janet Smith, author of Liquid Assets.

Saturday - Sunday 10:00–15:00 tours


The Hub - Regent's Park Sports Pavilion, Outer Circle, NW1 5HA

Another innovative sports building by David Morley Architects, The Hub is a welcome departure from the usual pavilion design, being a circular glass and steel building, partially submerged and covered by sloping turf, yet still offering all round views of the park.

Saturday - Sunday 09:00–17:00

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