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History of the open air pool in Hillingdon

The pool was built in 1935 at Hillingdon House Farm and operated for 63 years until it was closed in 1998.

The opening ceremony for the pool was held on August 31 1935. A copy of an original programme has been reproduced.

It is very interesting to note how many lengths it takes to swim a mile and the total cost of the project in 1935.


Programme spacer Programme

The primary structures are Grade II listed and include a unique 12 sided 'star' shaped outdoor pool. The principal aim of the project is to bring the pool back into use for the benefit of local people and the wider community of the London Borough of Hillingdon.

As with the restoration of all listed buildings there is a desire that they should be preserved but it is also recognised that to secure the long term future of these buildings it is best to establish a viable beneficial use for the facility.

Uxbridge Pool 1938 (2)

The Secretary of State's ETR document 'Power of Place' puts forward the view that the preservation of the past is very much dependant on its having a viable future. Design of new elements should both complement and enhance the historic structures. It states "the historic environment is the context within which new development happens" in order to "encourage the repair and use of neglected buildings".

Lido - divers Thus the main architectural objectives of the new facility are:

  • To retain and bring back into beneficial use those elements of the pool identified as being of high significance.
  • To accommodate a new indoor pool along with other sport facilities that will support and enhance the opportunities for the community to participate in sports.

Historically, lidos were a very popular family activity. Old photographic evidence indicates the open air pool was very heavily used for decades until the quality of the facilities began to decline when alternative leisure options became available. We now have the opportunity to redress the balance and regenerate the original features and excitement of the pool, supported by an extensive sporting development which builds upon the original health, fitness and well-being ethos of the 1935 pool.

The new sports facility will act as a catalyst to encourage the repair and re-use of the neglected buildings, putting conservation at the heart of renewal and regeneration. The new facility will enable this to happen within the realm of a long-term sustainable development which will support fully the pool and its existing buildings.

Lido The key aspects of the new building are all generated from the strategy of creating a fully integrated and meaningful refurbishment of the pool. The main elements will include:

A new entrance to the combined leisure facility to remain on the existing axial entrance route into the pool.

The axial entrance route is to be visually reinforced through the car park with soft landscaping and leads to the new Athletics Pavilion to the north.

31st August 1935 Changes to levels around the Lido pool surround will improve views and appreciation of the pool and help control the movement of people through the facility, particularly for pool users who will be directed around the pool to the west. This will also help define "wet" areas around the pool surround which can be used for sun loungers and seating.

Uxbridge Pool 1938 The pool will have divisions that will provide for a 50m pool with a leisure pool, at one end. The childrens pool will have geysers, bubbles and jets and also will be heated. The warm water will flow to the 50m pool, hopefully enabling an extension to the operating season of the pool.


The complex is now open »

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 22 Sep 2017 at 09:48