Demolition and rebuild 1983 – 1986
Ever since the 1965 expansion it had been intended to have an indoor pool on the site and this was the first published plan, from the Kenilworth Weekly News 11th February 1983. The covered pool (which coincidentally was almost exactly the same size as the original 1896 pool) with a sundeck roof accessed by two spiral staircases, was to be inserted in the available space at the northern end and built in a similar style and height to the existing changing rooms, and the outdoor pool kept as it was. These plans were replaced with those that came to fruition:
The updated plans drawn by WDC, and….
…after complaints, the re-designed outdoor pools sitting in the outline of the 1935 ‘lido’.
May 1985; the outdoor pool was already closed.
The beginnings of demolition, 27th October 1985. First to go was the refreshment kiosk to provide access to the site; the end of the wall on the left can be seen in the centre of the photograph above. The flattened area in the foreground was where the high quality medieval stonework was discovered in 2023.
Taken the same day, a wider view showing the 1965 changing rooms, left, and conveniences, right, which were largely kept. Note the absence of secure fencing; there was no difficulty for trespassers to get access the site.
Some excavations have taken place for the new buildings; the visible trenches in the foreground took the pillars supporting the edges of the new roof.
Demolition is continuing with the water treatment plant but the terracing and cascade are yet to go; the conveniences are left for inclusion in the new build, meanwhile the two outdoor pools are taking shape within the 1935 ‘lido’..
The new indoor pool begins to take shape. The area between the four black pillars and the next row is the site of the best discovered archaeology.
The new indoor pool ‘tank’ is dug.
Walls are being built.
The 1971 public conveniences were kept but refurbished. They became symptomatic of the decay that set in in the 2010s.
Excavation material from the new pool was dumped in the park; today that pile is the ‘spinney’ at the end of the lake; debris from the excavations can be seen underneath the duck feeding platform (below).
(Drone image courtesy Sam Leach)
Next Page: The 1986 swimming Pool