King's Meadow swimming pool
|King's Meadow swimming pool|
King's Meadow swimming pool in 2012
|Address||King's Meadow, Reading, Berkshire|
|Owner||Reading Borough Council|
|Former names||Ladies Swimming Bath|
|Status||Grade II Listed|
|Length||37 metres (121 ft)|
|Width||14 metres (46 ft)|
King's Meadow swimming pool is a disused open air swimming pool located in King's Meadow in Reading, Berkshire. It was first opened to the public in 1903 as the Ladies Swimming Bath and is believed to be the oldest surviving outdoor municipal pool of a similar early Edwardian era. In August 2004, as a result of a campaign, the building was awarded Grade II listed building status.
The pool traces its ancestry back to 1860 as a bathing area. In 1879, Reading Corporation (now Reading Borough Council) built the largest pool in the South of England, 260 ft (79 m) x 80 ft (24 m), but for men only.
The current pool 120 ft (37 m) x 45 ft (14 m) was built in 1902 near the men's pool (now demolished) so that women could also swim there. It had changing booths and showers and a very high degree of architectural detail, most of which was manufactured locally. The water supply was originally fed from the nearby River Thames.
During the 1950s the water treatment method for the pool changed to mains supply. A heating system was installed, but never used. The pool was closed to the public in 1974.
During the 1990s, the Reading Dive Club took a lease on the premises and have established a non-swimming meeting place. The outside of the building has been graffitied, vandalised and has fallen into disrepair. Reading Borough Council invited proposals for the future of the site and, in April 2009, developers Askett Hawk were given permission to build a hotel at the site.
In September 2009, the council rejected the proposal to grant a 250-year lease to Askett Hawk and decided to give a local campaign group the opportunity to develop a scheme to restore the pool for public use.
- "Going great lengths to decide future of baths". Reading Evening Post. 2008-07-09. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
- "Green light for lido hotel plan". BBC News. 2009-04-15. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
- Fort, Linda (2009-09-29). "Victory for King's Meadow swimming pool campaign". Reading Evening Post. Retrieved 2010-01-26.
- London pools campaign - King's Meadow Baths
- King's Meadow Baths Site
- BBC Berkshire - Kings Meadow Swimming Pool
- Green Reading - King's Meadow Baths
- Oliver Merrington's Potentially re-openable lidos in the UK
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