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Sports Pavilion at the Bath Recreation Ground

A Grade II Listed Building in Abbey, Bath and North East Somerset

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Latitude: 51.3834 / 51°23'0"N

Longitude: -2.3544 / 2°21'15"W

OS Eastings: 375430

OS Northings: 164990

OS Grid: ST754649

Mapcode National: GBR 0QH.CJJ

Mapcode Global: VH96M.4HNB

Entry Name: Sports Pavilion at the Bath Recreation Ground

Listing Date: 10 January 2012

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1406570

Location: Bath and North East Somerset, BA2

County: Bath and North East Somerset

Electoral Ward/Division: Abbey

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Bath

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset

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A cricket pavilion built in 1895 to a design by the local architect Charles Bryan Oliver.


MATERIALS: the pavilion is built and clad in timber weather-boarding with a hipped tiled roof with timber finials to either gable end (one now missing). To the centre of the ridge is a decorative octagonal leaded bell turret with an ogee-shaped roof topped with a timber and wrought iron finial. The tiles on the main roof are covered with Roman tiles, replacing former plain tiles as surviving on the lower side wings.

PLAN: the single storey building with attic, has a rectangular plan with a open verandah leading to a central hall with built-in bar, which is flanked to either side by a lower wing containing a dressing room with toilets and showers to the rear.

EXTERIOR: the main south elevation has a covered verandah, with the overhanging roof resting on three cambered arches springing from decorative timber baluster columns. It has a central two-panelled door with an eight-pane horizontal window to the top half, flanked to either side by timber double casement windows each two by four panes. To the left and right the lower side wings (containing the dressing rooms) have rectangular projecting bays with overhanging eaves and multi-paned timber casement windows. The central window has a decorative arch, resembling a Venetian window. The gables above them show vertical timber framing. To the front of the Pavilion a series of brick and concrete steps lead to the pitch replacing former graveled steps. The side and rear elevations, all clad in horizontal timber weather-boarding, have a number of multi-pane casement windows, with the row of four casement windows to the rear, lighting the bar.

INTERIOR: the late-C19 interior contains in the hall, vertical timber wall panelling and a long bar with timber panelling to the front. It has two large cambered arches resting on decorative timber baluster columns. To either side of the bar are two small utility or storage rooms. The dressing rooms have vertical timber wall panelling behind fixed benches. Lath and plaster walls, timber panelled doors and architraves throughout.


The Sports Pavilion at the Bath Recreation Ground was built as a cricket pavilion in 1895 to a design by Charles Bryan Oliver (b1850), a local architect. The pavilion was erected along the north side of the Recreation Ground, (locally known as 'the Rec'), a year after Captain GW Forester (whose family owned the Bathwick Estate) granted a lease for the land to the Bath and County Recreation Ground Company. The Company was allowed to use the grounds for cricket, lawn tennis, archery, football and other outdoor sports, and to introduce all the necessary buildings and structures. This included the Sports Pavilion, but also the ornamental entrance kiosks and gate to the Recreation Ground on Pultney Mews (listed at Grade II). In 1897, the first Somerset County Cricket Festival (which continued to the present day as the Bath Cricket Festival), was held at the Recreation Ground. In 1908 the lease of the Ground was extended for another 21 years, but before it came to an end, the Company was able to buy the land in 1922 for a sum of £6,050. Since 1927 a number of long leases for the western part of 'the Rec' have been granted to Bath Football Club (Bath Rugby Club). During the Second World War 'the Rec' was used as a parade ground by the Home Guard. During the Bath Blitz the Sports Pavilion survived, but the West Stand, built in 1933, was severely damaged and subsequently demolished and replaced. In 2002 'the Rec' became a charitable Trust with the Council as sole Trustee, and a Trust Board was established to manage its affairs.

A plan of 1895 of the Sports Pavilion (then called Cricket Pavilion), together with historic photographs, show it as having a rectangular plan with a central hall with a bar to the rear, flanked on either side with dressing rooms for both teams, each with bathrooms to the rear. To the front the Pavilion had broad gravelled steps, enclosed by a low picket fence, which led to the pitch.

Reasons for Listing

The Sports Pavilion at the Bath Recreation Ground is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: it is a relatively early example of a late-Victorian cricket pavilion by a well-known local architect which displays good quality architectural detailing.
* Intactness: the building has survived mostly intact, and the level of survival of its interior is remarkable.
* Historic interest: it forms part of the late-C19 development of the Bath Recreation Ground as a communal sports ground, thus making an important contribution to the history of community based sports in the City of Bath.
* Group value: it forms an interesting group with the Grade II listed entrance and ticket kiosks to the Bath Recreation Ground situated at Williams Street.

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