Diving Platform at Stratford Park Lido


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Stratford Park Leisure Centre, Stratford Road, Stroud, GL5 4AF


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Statutory Address:
Stratford Park Leisure Centre, Stratford Road, Stroud, GL5 4AF

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Stroud (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


Diving Platform at Stratford Park Lido, built in 1937, designed by FS Cutler with LG Mouchel and Partners as consultant engineers.

Reasons for Designation

The diving platform at Stratford Park Lido, of 1937 by FS Cutler with LG Mouchel and Partners as consulting engineers, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* for its elegant parabolic design, which forms a striking feature of the lido; * for the technological interest of its use of reinforced concrete; * for its survival, despite the loss of its railings.

Historic interest:

* as one of only four inter-war concrete diving platforms known to survive in England.


Stroud Urban District Council purchased the estate of Stratford Park, Stroud, in 1935, in accordance with the wishes of its previous owner, George Ormerod, that the park should become a place of public amenity for the people of Stroud. The Council then commissioned the building of an open-air swimming pool as a leisure facility for the park; this was to be designed by the Council's Engineer and Surveyor, FS Cutler, with LG Mouchel and Partners as consulting engineers.

The early-C20 had witnessed major growth in the provision of outdoor swimming facilities, particularly during the 1920s and 1930s with what became known as the lido. Ideas around the promotion of physical fitness and good health were key to this, although the lido was for leisure and tourism use as well as fitness. With these new outdoor pools there was no class separation, as there had been with earlier indoor pools, and they mostly also permitted mixed bathing. Lidos also increasingly became symbols of municipal pride for local authorities, and with the high unemployment of the 1930s government grants were available to assist with the building of these new facilities. Around 180 were built in Britain during the 1930s.

Key features of a lido at this time were of course the open air pool, usually with a terrace alongside for sunbathing and often with a cafe and viewing area for spectators. Many also had diving platforms, reflecting the growing interest in diving as a sport. The first diving stage in England had been erected at Highgate Ponds in 1893, and divers competed in the Olympic Games in 1904. By the 1930s, both 'plain' (straight) and 'fancy' diving were popular in Britain, and diving platforms at lidos typically offered stages at 3m, 5m and 10m. Most diving platforms were in tubular steel, although where funds were available some designers provided reinforced concrete structures, as at Stratford Park, in interesting and attractive forms. The diving platform at Stratford Park is one of only four inter-War concrete diving platforms known to survive in England.

Stratford Park Lido was opened in May 1938 and had been built at a cost of around £20,000 with a swimming pool of 165ft by 60ft. The sun terrace adjacent could accommodate 450 spectators and changing facilities were provided with disinfected foot baths for bathers to pass through before entering the pool, with the pool and fountain fed by natural spring water. The corner pavilions contained a cafe and chlorination and heating facilities.


Diving Platform at Stratford Park Lido, built in 1937, designed by FS Cutler with LG Mouchel and Partners as consultant engineers.

MATERIALS: the diving platform is of reinforced concrete.

PLAN: the diving platform stands on the eastern side of the lido pool.

DESCRIPTION: the diving platform takes the form of a large parabolic arch with three diving stages, one to each side and one at the top centre. The railings around each platform and the access steps have been removed following changes in regulations.


Books and journals
Smith, J, Liquid Assets: the Lidos and Open Air Swimming Pools of Britain, (2005)
Gloucester Journal, 7th May 1938


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

The listed building(s) is/are shown coloured blue on the attached map. Pursuant to s1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) structures attached to or within the curtilage of the listed building but not coloured blue on the map, are not to be treated as part of the listed building for the purposes of the Act. However, any works to these structures which have the potential to affect the character of the listed building as a building of special architectural or historic interest may still require Listed Building Consent (LBC) and this is a matter for the Local Planning Authority (LPA) to determine.

End of official listing

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