Over 2,500 images taken for Played in Britain can now be accessed via the Historic England Archive. They cover most areas of England (note, not Scotland or Wales) and include sites, sports grounds and buildings of historic interest that have staged or continue to stage football, cricket, rugby, tennis, bowls, golf, athletics, cycling, speedway, greyhound racing, horse racing, archery, real tennis, squash, rackets, fives, quoits and swimming (indoors and outdoors).

Scroll down to see a selection, or you can browse the entire collection via the following links:

If intending to reproduce any if these images, please click here for terms and conditions.

(above) From Played in London, the Grade II listed East Stand at Arsenal’s Highbury Stadium was opened in 1936 and designed by architects Claude Waterlow Ferrier and William Binnie. After the football club relocated to its new home at the Emirates Stadium in 2006, shortly after this photograph was taken, the stand was converted into flats and the pitch replaced with gardens, forming the Highbury Square development. (Historic England ref: PLA01/03/1023)

(above) In Shropshire, the green of the Clun Bowling Club has occupied the former east bailey of Clun Castle since 1922. When researching Bowled Over, the Played in Britain study of the nation’s bowling greens, our researchers visited nearly one thousand bowls clubs across England, Wales and Scotland. (Historic England ref: PLA01/06/0016)

(above) As featured in Great Lengths, Flag Lane Baths in Crewe opened in 1937 but has been boarded up since 2016. It had an unusual curved viewing balcony at one end for use when the pool was converted into a public hall during the winter. In 2022 plans were announced for the building’s conversion into a community arts space and cinema. (Historic England ref: PLA01/09/0060)

(above) As shown in Played in Manchester, the Old Trafford area is famous for its football and cricket grounds, but also has a magnificent and unusually large bowling club pavilion, built in 1877. With the help of SAVE Britain’s Heritage and Played in Britain the pavilion was listed Grade II in June 2023. (Historic England ref: PLA01/04/0005)

(above) From Played at the Pub, this is the Cock Inn at Luddesdown in Kent, where four different dartboards from around the country show how once there were numerous regional variations. On the left is a rare wooden black Kent board. To the right of is a familiar London Trebles board, known also as ‘the Clock’ (which has been more or less standard since 1924), a London Narrow Fives board and, far right, a Yorkshire board. (Historic England ref: DP064139)

(above) One of Britain’s finest examples of a company sports pavilion is at the Bournville chocolate factory, as featured in Played in Birmingham. Built in 1902, the Grade II Men’s Pavilion is still in use for cricket and football. (Historic England ref: DP016797)

(above) Played in Britain researchers tracked down this lost foundation stone to a garage in Liverpool, leading to its donation to the Museum of Liverpool, where it is now on display. The ‘Stadium’ was Merseyside’s leading boxing venue from 1932-85 and features in Played in Liverpool. (Historic England ref: PLA01/02/0017)

(above) There are 25 Real Tennis clubs in Britain, several of which have featured in Played in Britain titles. This is the magnificent court of the Jesmond Dene Real Tennis Club in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, dating from 1894 and featured in Played in Tyne & Wear, by Lynn Pearson. (Historic England ref: PLA01/05/0084)

(above) Despite the closure in 2008 of ‘The Stow’ in Walthamstow – an east London greyhound stadium opened in 1932 – its landmark neon sign (installed on the rear of the Totalisator Board) has been listed and preserved as part of a new housing scheme. (Historic England ref: PLA01/03/1165)

Other photographers who worked on Played in Britain can be found here:

Simon Gill (Played in London, Bowled Over)

Lynn Pearson (Played on Tyne & Wear)

Iona Shepherd (Bowled Over)

Stuart Wallace (Played in Glasgow)