News from Played in Britain

Heritage Open Days 2013

September 3 2013

The annual Heritage Open Days event, organised by the National Trust, Civic Voice and the Heritage Alliance, funded by English Heritage, takes place from September 12-15 and includes several sports-related venues that may interest Played in Britain readers. Here’s a round up of some places you might like to visit.

Please note that some venues require advance booking and are open for only part of the four day HODS event.

For full details on all venues see:

East Anglia

Broomhill Pool, Sherrington Road, Ipswich IP1 4HT

Sadly still lying derelict since it closed in 2002, this is a wonderful 1938 Modernist lido with a 50m pool. The Broomhill Pool Trust together with Fusion and Ipswich Council are seeking funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund for full restoration of the pool. Open for viewing only. As featured in Liquid Assets.

Saturday and Sunday 10:00-16:00

The forlorn state of the once stunning Broomhill Pool in 2006.

The forlorn state of the once stunning Broomhill Pool in 2006. (© Simon Inglis)

Cambridge University Real Tennis Club, Burrell’s Walk, Cambridge CB3 9DJ

An opportunity to visit the university’s real tennis court where the senior professional will introduce the history and rules of the game, followed by an exhibition match by some of the top university players.

Pre-book on 01223 336580
Friday 18:30-19:30

Cambridge University Sports Centre, Charles Babbage Road, Cambridge CB3 0FS

Arup Associates will lead a tour of the new sports centre focusing on the architecture and the key challenges that faced the design team in construction

Friday 11:00-12:00 for Arup Associates tour
Saturday 10:00-12:00

Grandstand at Wellesley Recreation Ground, Wellesley Road, Great Yarmouth NR30 1EY

One of the earliest surviving football grandstands in England still in use today. Dating back to 1890 and designed by JW Cockrill.

Thursday and Friday 09:00-16:00, tour 11:00
Saturday 09:00-12:00, tour 11:00

North East

Jesmond Dene Real Tennis Club, Matthew Bank, Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 3RE

This Grade II listed real tennis court was built in what was then the garden of Jesmond Dene House in 1894. One of only around 25 real tennis courts in the UK and still in daily use. Find out more in Played in Tyne and Wear by Lynn Pearson.

Thursday - Sunday 12:00-16:00

Newcastle Cricket Club, Osborne Avenue, Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 1JS

Discover the remarkable history of the 125 year old Jesmond Ground, a very special place in the local community.

Thursday 12:00-20:00, talk 10:00 – 12:00
Friday 10:00-12:00 & 14:00-18:00, 125th anniversary celebration 12:00-14:00

Stepney Bank Stables, Ouseburn, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 2PN

A peek into the past at Stepney Bank Stables and a chance to learn something of the history of the old stable yard, built in 1879. Meet at the new indoor arena reception to join a tour.

Saturday and Sunday, tours 10:00, 11:30, 14:00

North West

The Albert Bowling and Tennis Club, 39-41 Old Lansdowne Road, West Didsbury, Manchester M20 2PA

The Albert Club was established in 1874 as a gentlemen's club when a group of businessmen put money in to build the clubhouse and lay an impressive crown bowling green. Over the weekend there will be displays on the history and origins of the club and the Albert Park Conservation Area.

Saturday and Sunday 10:00-17:00

The Albert Bowling and Tennis Club’s characterful clubhouse.

The Albert Bowling and Tennis Club’s characterful clubhouse. (© Simon Inglis)

Blackburn Subscription Bowling Club, Shear Bank Road, Blackburn BB1 8AP

Meet local historian Ray Smith for a tour of one of the oldest crown green bowling clubs in the country.

Saturday 10:00 -16:00

Burnley Football Club, Turf Moor, Harry Potts Way, Burnley BB10 4BX

An opportunity to take a look behind the scenes at Burnley FC, including the home dressing rooms and trophy cabinet and to learn about the history of one of the founding members of the Football League.

Pre-book 01282 477210
Thursday 14:00 and 16:00

Chester Racecourse, Chester CH1 1LY

A guided walking tour of the famous Roodee, Britain's oldest racecourse, where racing and many other sports have been staged since 1539. Walking tour/talk by Chris Clayton explaining the history of the site since Roman times, right up to recent projects, including new Parade ring projects, grandstand extensions and 1539 restaurant. The tour also includes the Old Port site, its new stables and railway arches with associated developments and riverside path.

Pre-book only: Sue Foster 01244 972210
Thursday 14:00-15:30

South and South East

Castle Green Bowling Club, Castle Grounds, Guildford GU1 3SX

A Played in Britain favourite (to be featured in Hugh Hornby's forthcoming book on bowling greens, Bowled Over) this historic green in the castle grounds is open to the public, but for Heritage Open Days will be inviting people to watch, learn and join in. To celebrate the bowling club’s 90th anniversary there will be special planting in the club’s honour in the castle grounds.

Sunday 14:30-17:30

Dripping Pan (Lewes Football Club Grounds), Mountfield Road, Lewes BN7 2XA

The Pan has been home to Lewes FC since 1885, though other sports were played here long before. Display of ‘Rooks’ memorabilia and match posters in the clubhouse.

Sunday 11:00-16:00

Durdans Riding School, Chalk Lane, Epsom KT18 7AX

An indoor riding school designed in 1881 by George Devey, pioneer of the English vernacular style, for Lord Rosebery’s race horses.

Saturday 09:00 – 13:00

Hilsea Lido, London Road, Hilsea, Portsmouth PO2 9RP

A great chance to see this 1935 Modernist lido and learn more about local efforts to re-open it for swimming. As featured in Liquid Assets.

Saturday and Sunday 13:00-16:00

Real Tennis Court, Merton College, Merton Street, Oxford OX1 4JD

Demonstrations of the game of real tennis at the second oldest court in the world.

Saturday 11:00 – 15:00, demonstrations on the hour

South West

Bristol South Slipper Baths, Dean Lane, Bristol BS3 1BS

A 1930s Art Deco public bathing facility designed by CFW Dening sited alongside the main pool which closed in the 1960s.

Saturday 10.00-16.00

Cleveland Baths, Hampton Row, Bathwick, Somerset BA2 6QR

Situated on the banks of the River Avon, the Grade II listed Cleveland Baths opened in 1815 and include the oldest open air swimming pool in the country. Cleveland Pools Trust are fundraising to save this historic site and to restore the pool for swimming.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday 14:00-17:00

Exeter City Football Club, St James Park, Exeter EX4 6PX

Go behind the scenes at St James Park where football has been played for over 100 years. Pre-book only 01392 413954.

Thursday and Friday tour 10:00

Sandford Parks Lido, Keynsham Road, Cheltenham GL53 7PU

Opened in 1935 Sandford Parks Lido retains nearly all of its historic features, including plant room machinery, and is one of the most complete examples of its kind in England.

Saturday 11:00-19:30

West Midlands

Coventry Godiva Harriers Clubhouse, Coventry Athletics Track, Kirby Corner Road, Coventry CV4 8EE

An exhibition on the last 140 years of athletics in Coventry, featuring historical photographs of the many athletics events which have taken place in and around the city. Some of the club’s Olympic and international athletes will be popping in over the weekend.

Saturday and Sunday 11:00-16:00

Kilnworx Climbing Centre, Wycliffe Street, Stoke on Trent ST6 3ET

An exhibition on the history of the building and conversion into a climbing centre and an opportunity to have a go.

Friday 12:00-22:00

Leamington Real Tennis Club, Bedford Street, Leamington Spa CV32 5DT

Hidden in a back street with a modest exterior and not to be confused with the town's venerable lawn tennis club, this is one of the oldest real tennis courts in Britain, built in 1846/7 by Jackson of Leamington Spa and featuring original club rooms.

Pre-book: 01926 412717
Thursday and Friday 11:00 tours


The Bath House, Gledhow Valley Road, Leeds

A listed bath house, originally part of the Gledhow Estate. It has a changing room and a small pool fed from a spring. Visit organised by Friends of Gledhow Valley Woods.

Sunday 13:30-16:30

Starbeck Baths, Spa Lane, Harrogate HG2 7JF

This public swimming pool was originally built in 1870. Previously known as the Prince of Wales Baths, it became one of the foremost spa attractions in the Victorian era.

Friday & Sunday 10:30-16:00
Saturday 10:30-12:00

Back to news page