Played in Britain
Charting the heritage of a nation at play
PLEASE NOTE: Apologies for the delay with Played in London. Publication now scheduled for Spring 2014.
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
Historic London tennis pavilion listed
April 3 2013
A pavilion dating from c.1896 at Beckenham Tennis Club has been listed Grade II after having been proposed by Played in Britain series editor Simon Inglis as a rare survivor from the early days of the sport. The building, originally known as the Ladies Pavilion, was built for the increasing number of women joining the club which was founded in 1879 and is one of the oldest tennis clubs in the world still at its original location. The pavilion is to be featured in Played in Britain's forthcoming study of the capital's sporting heritage, Played in London.
Small but exquisitely detailed – Hammersmith squash court listed
March 19 2013
Following a proposal from Played in Britain series editor Simon Inglis, a 1930s squash court in the grounds of Latymer Prep School, Hammersmith, London, has been listed Grade II.
Designed by JEM Macgregor for the writer and social activist Naomi Mitchison and her husband, the lawyer and Labour politician Dick Mitchison, the 'small but exquisitely detailed' detached brick structure is now used as a drama studio, but recalls a period when squash was all the rage in fashionable circles. London's squash heritage is one of several topics covered in Inglis's forthcoming book, Played in London, due for publication in Autumn 2013. In the meantime watch out here for news of further listings arising from the Played in London project.
For details of the listing, visit english-heritage.org.uk
Friends group re-opens Edwardian baths in Leeds
January 3 2013
Bramley Baths in Leeds has become the latest historic swimming pool in Britain to be saved by community action. Opened in 1904, the baths have been taken over by the Friends group on a 25 year lease and re-opened with a splash on New Year's Day.
Sporting heritage at risk
November 3 2012
A rare example of an 18th century racecourse grandstand, ten former or current public swimming baths, including two outdoor, and two pubs with sporting connections are among a number of sports-related buildings on the 2012 Heritage at Risk Register, recently published by English Heritage.
Walthamstow Greyhound Stadium redevelopment
October 31 2012
Mayor of London Boris Johnson has given the go ahead to the redevelopment of Walthamstow Stadium, despite strong opposition from campaigners and two local MPs – Conservative Iain Duncan Smith and Labour's Stella Creasy. But the campaigners have pledged to fight on.
Croquet shed listed
September 18 2012
The Twentieth Century Society has welcomed the listing of a croquet shed built in the 1950s in the grounds of a house in Northamptonshire. The shed, which has been Grade II listed, was built by the 'progressive classicist' Raymond Erith in the garden of The Pediment, itself listed Grade II in 1988.
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