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...

Find out more about Played in Britain, our books and our authors

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

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

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.

• For more on the story, visit english-heritage.org.uk and theguardian.com.

Work on Rugby Hall of Fame proceeds

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.

• For more on the story, visit Rugby Borough Council and CLAD News.

New heritage centre and gallery for horseracing nears completion at Newmarket

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.

• For more on the story, visit the National Horseracing Museum and CLAD News.

1851 Rugby rulebook discovered in depository sells for £13,000

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

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

Played in Tyne and Wear

Played in London

Charting the heritage of a city at play

By Simon Inglis

Book information | Buy now

Charles Buchan's Arsenal Gift Book

Charles Buchan's Arsenal Gift Book

Edited by Simon Inglis

Book information | Buy now

Played in Birmingham

Played in Birmingham

Charting the heritage of a city at play

By Steve Beauchampé & Simon Inglis

Book information | Buy now

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.

The Observer

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.

www.wordofsport.com

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