News from Played in Britain

Sporting heritage at risk – 2014 register published

October 28 2014

A 700m stretch of Edwardian motor racing track at Brooklands, a pair of open air swimming pools dating from 1815 and 1938 respectively, a former Temperance Billiard Hall, a rare example of an 18th century racecourse grandstand and eight former or current indoor swimming baths are among a number of sports and recreational-related buildings on the 2014 Heritage at Risk Register, published in October by English Heritage.

Published annually, the Heritage at Risk Register lists all those Grade I and II* buildings nationally, plus Grade II buildings in London, that are deemed to be at particular risk. These include monuments, archaeological sites, landscapes, battlefields, protected wrecks, places of worship and conservation areas.

The good news is that, excluding places of worship, there has been a reduction in the number of buildings on the Register since 2013. In fact since 1999, 59% of the original entries have been removed, suggesting that the Register really works, by focusing efforts and the attention of the public, investors and other stakeholders on the most deserving cases. However, new sites continue to be added to the Register every year – including three on the list that follows – so that the overall number of buildings at risk has only fallen by 313 from 1,428 to 1,115. This means that four per cent of buildings and structures still remain in poor enough condition to be included on the Register.

Saltdean Lido, Brighton – a new entry to the HAR since 2013

Saltdean Lido, Brighton – a new entry to the HAR since 2013

As reported by English Heritage, 'We can't give up on these incredibly important historic buildings; getting them back in use will contribute towards the country's growing economy. As the economy starts to improve and the demand for development increases, we need to push these buildings forward and find a future for them.'

Eighteen sports and recreational buildings appear on the Heritage at Risk Register for 2014, published last week, as follows:

Brighton: Saltdean Lido, Marine Drive, Saltdean – Grade II*

Classic lido of 1938, designed by RWH Jones in Moderne style. It is currently closed and suffering from a maintenance backlog, and there is a particular deterioration of its reinforced concrete and the metal-framed windows. A Community Interest Company has a 60 year lease and is developing plans for its repair and reuse. This building is featured in Liquid Assets.

Surrey: The Railway Straight, Brooklands Motor Racing Circuit, Byfleet, Surrey

The designated section of the Railway Straight comprises c700 metres of the 1907 circuit, from the eastern boundary of the Mercedes-Benz History and Technology Centre to the modern break in the circuit north of Avro Way. It is in need of repair. Agreed works need to be completed.

For the full listing description, visit

Berkshire: Noah's Boathouse, Stonehouse Lane, Cookham – Grade II*

Built by Colin Lucas for his father, in 1930, constructed of monolithic reinforced concrete with a flat roof. An early and pioneering example of Modern Movement architecture by one of the major figures in the movement. The building floods regularly and is derelict. The roof is leaking and the concrete is spalling.

More info on this building can be found at the BBC website.

Bath: Cleveland Baths, Hampton Row – Grade II*

Dating from 1815, Cleveland Baths is believed to be the oldest surviving public outdoor swimming pool in Britain. A diminutive Georgian crescent houses changing rooms and a caretaker's cottage. The Cleveland Pool Trust completed a business plan, condition survey and scheme design with English Heritage grant aid in 2012 and is now seeking capital funding for the works. This building is featured in Liquid Assets.

Dorset: Wolfeton Riding House, Wolfeton House, Charminster, Dorset – Grade II*

One of the oldest surviving riding schools in England, late C16. Used as an agricultural barn for a long period and now in trust ownership. Repairs, grant aided by English Heritage, have been ongoing since 2007. Two phases of major repairs also grant aided by EH to stabilise the walls and repair the roofs are due for completion in 2014. Uses for the building are being explored (June 2014).


Hackney: Haggerston Baths, Whiston Road E2 – Grade II

Public baths and swimming pool, 1904. Vacant since closing in 2000 and now in a state of disrepair. Hackney Council is currently considering options for future use and funding. A campaign group remains active. This building is featured in both Played in London and Great Lengths

Hounslow: Brentford Baths, Clifden Road, Brentford TW8 – Grade II

Public baths and swimming pool 1895-96, closed in 1990. The building was sold by the London Borough of Hounslow in November 1998. The interiors are in reasonable condition, due to inherent robustness, but there is major rooflight leakage. Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent were granted on appeal in July 2011 for change of use to live-work units. Repair and conversion works are underway and nearing completion.

Lewisham: Beckenham Place Mansion, Beckenham Place Park BR3 – Grade II*

Mansion house built circa 1773, situated within former park land, now a public golf course. Some emergency repairs were carried out in 2012 with a grant from English Heritage. A Heritage Lottery Fund bid is being prepared by the Local Authority for repairs to Beckenham Place and a strategy for its future use. This building is featured in Played in London.

Lewisham: Old Swimming Baths, Ladywell Road, SE13 - Grade II

Public baths, consisting of first and second class swimming pools constructed in 1884. Designed in the Gothic style by Wilson & Son and Thomas Aldwinkle. The building is currently unused, however urgent works to the prominent tower, roof and dry-rot are now complete and have stabilised the building. The Local Authority is investigating funding options for the full repair of the building and options for its long term use. A Ladywell Tower Development Trust has been formed. This building is featured in both Played in London and Great Lengths.

Lewisham: former Temperance Billiard Hall, later Riley's, Lewisham High St, SE13 - Grade II

A temperance billiard hall built 1909-10, part of a once extensive chain covering London and the Greater Manchester area, originally incorporating a café, lounge and shops facing Lewisham High Street. Listed as a well-surviving example of an uncommon building type. The building has been empty for the past two years. It has been gutted internally and is showing signs of neglect. There is water ingress on the upper floor. Planning Permission was granted in 2012 for the change of use to a place of worship. Planning and Listed Building Consent applications for associated changes and extensions have been submitted. This building is featured in Played in London.

Newham: Spotted Dog, Upton Lane, E7 – Grade II

Weatherboarded C16 timber-framed former public house. The Local Authority has carried out works to secure the property and make it weathertight, following non compliance with an Urgent Works Notice, part funded by English Heritage. A Repairs Notice was subsequently served and urgent repairs carried out. Discussions are taking place to explore acquisition by a charitable trust for development as a community enterprise. This building is associated with the adjoining Spotted Dog sports ground, in use for cricket since at least 1844 and since 1888 the home of Clapton FC (as featured in in Played in London).

Tower Hamlets: Poplar Baths, East India Dock Road, E14 – Grade II

Former public baths, with slipper and vapour baths. Built 1932-4 for Poplar Borough Council to the designs of Harley Heckford, Borough Engineer, and RW Stanton, Chief Assistant. The building is vacant and in poor condition. Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent have been granted for works associated with the re-use of the building as a leisure centre and swimming pool and works have started. This building is featured in both Played in London and Great Lengths.

Westminster: Crockers, Aberdeen Place, NW8 – Grade II*

Public house circa 1900, formerly known as The Crown. Has been closed since autumn 2004. Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent were granted in November 2011 to allow the use of the upper floors as residential flats. Work is well advanced on this scheme. Included in this list owing to its well appointed billiard room on the ground floor.

Yorkshire: Old Grandstand, Richmond – Grade II*

A rare example of an C18 racecourse grandstand. The racecourse was closed in the late C19 after which the grandstand became derelict before being partially demolished in c1960. In 1995 the ruins were cleared and stonework sorted. A Conservation Plan for the building has now been completed with the support of English Heritage, and the Racecourse is now a Conservation Area. For a photo of the stand, click here.

Manchester: Victoria Baths, Hathersage Road, Longsight M13 – Grade II*

Substantial three-pool public baths complex, 1906. A major programme of repairs continues, led by the Victoria Baths Trust, with repairs to the front block and the male First Class pool hall now completed. The steering group of Manchester City Council, Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage and the Victoria Baths Trust are working to complete the restoration project which is designed to bring the baths back into operation. This building is featured in both Played in Manchester and Great Lengths.

Salford: former Collier Street public baths, Greengate M3 – Grade II*

Former public baths b.1855, designed by Thomas Worthington, thought to be the oldest surviving public baths building in Britain. Later used as a warehouse, but disused since c.1990. Repairs were undertaken several years ago but its condition continues to deteriorate. Salford City Council has commissioned a conservation plan to assist with making informed decisions for a future re-use, yet to be determined. The baths was recently chosen by members of the Victorian Society as one of the ten most endangered Victorian or Edwardian buildings in 2014 (see news story of October 26). This building is featured in both Played in Manchester and Great Lengths.

Ashton under Lyne: Hugh Mason House (former Municipal Baths), Henry Sq OL6 – Grade II*

Former municipal swimming baths, b.1870-1, designed by Paull & Robinson. Derelict, but purchased by a developer for commercial use. Temporary works undertaken by Local Authority in 1990s and in 2003 by owner. Further discussions taking place about re-use as part of wider regeneration, with proposals to convert into a business start-up and development hub. Potential funding for scheme from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the European Regional Development Fund. This building is featured in both Played in Manchester and Great Lengths.

Birmingham: Moseley Road Public Baths, Moseley, Birmingham B13 – Grade II*

Substantial municipal baths complex with lavish terracotta decoration and complete interiors. The baths were opened in 1907 as an addition to the Free Library (1895) forming an impressive group of public buildings. A masterplan for future use of the building has been prepared by the City Council but plans to bid for Heritage Lottery Fund grant have been abandoned. Discussion is now focused on urgent interim works to keep the building watertight pending a resurrection of the Heritage Lottery Fund bid. The Friends of Moseley Road Baths continues to lobby on its behalf. This building is featured in both Played in Birmingham and Great Lengths.

Search the full Heritage at Risk Register 2014

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