About Us - What We do

Historic Pools of Britain was established in 2015 to give representation for the first time to all indoor and outdoor pools, reflecting the fact that they play an important role in their communities, and also make a very significant contribution to Britain’s heritage. Across the country there are examples of civic architecture at its very best, including pools of the Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian and Modern Movement periods.

Our member pools form a unique collection; many are listed for their architectural and historic importance, in others you’ll see fine examples of civic planning with other public buildings or green spaces and parkland incorporated into the schemes. There is a pool recognised by the World Monument Fund, a pool described as a ‘water palace’ for its beauty and in many, the sense of escapism that they offered for the working classes that they were built to serve, is still a factor today.

With a considerable number of historic gems already lost, we give a voice to those that remain and we bring them together to share experiences and insight. Our members are at different stages of operation from those that are open and fully functioning to those that have active fundraising campaigns behind them. All have in common the desire to ensure that swimming and celebration of heritage is at their very heart.

Around the country the renaissance of historic pools is being witnessed and is a source of inspiration. The restoration and re-opening of pools in South Wales, Brighton and Newcastle is being met by a hugely positive response from the public and making a great contribution to their local economies.

We welcome all pre-1945 pools, and those later pools of historical significance, to join our organisation. We believe that with a collective voice and by combining our efforts we can make a difference to the future of Britain’s historic pools. We also invite heritage bodies and organisations working in the heritage and cultural sectors to support us through their membership.

We want to work with our members, communities, supporters and the media to protect surviving historic pools, acting also as a lobbying force for the sector.

Pools that have community-driven campaigns behind them are fortunate, but not all are in this position. Some pools are in very fragile and vulnerable positions; neglected for many years, these were once thriving community spaces. It is our desire to give a voice to all and encourage where possible local communities to get involved.