Shoalstone Pool in the summer, Brixham, Devon

Shoalstone Pool is a 53 metre sea water pool situated in a stunning position on Brixham sea front: one of only a few left in the country. It is built into a natural rock pool that in Victorian times was popular for bathing, and in 1896 two walls were built to retain the tidal water that flooded in.

Thirty years later, in 1926, the Pool took on its current design and had a lot of rock removed to make it deeper and add a shallow end and deep end, with a gently sloping bottom. Shut throughout the winter the Pool was opened each season by a local lady, Minnie Bowman, who jumped off the diving board wrapped in a Union Flag!

Brixham’s outdoor seawater pool is one of only a few left in the country, with large open areas to relax in and enjoy the sun. There is also a small shingle beach adjacent to the pool. There is easy access with adequate parking on the site and a block of toilets (open summer season only).

There is a freshwater shower right on pool-side, and convenient changing rooms. Deckchairs and sun loungers are also available for hire.

Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed into the pool surround at all. Dogs on the promenade above the pool must be kept on their leads. Dogs may be taken onto the beach nearby without their leads.

There is a café and a takeaway kiosk on site both of which are run independently of the swimming pool.

Shoalstone Pool opens for 2019

Shoalstone Pool 2019

The pool always opens on the Spring Bank holiday Saturday, which is Saturday 25th May in 2019.

Shoalstone Pool Opening Times

There are lifeguards on duty between 10.00 and 18.00 each day of the week from opening day until the end of August.

Maintaining Shoalstone Swimming Pool

Shoalstone Pool filling up with sea water at Brixham

Throughout the closed season pool cleans take place. This is a lengthy process which takes lots of hard work by our volunteers. Timing is crucial. It has to be done on the day when it is a high tide (about 5 metre). When the tide is going out a valve is opened so the pool drains into the sea. A pump is set up so it pulls in sea water which is emitted through a hose so it can be used to hose down the pool floor. At the same time volunteers use brushes to remove algae from the walls and floor of the pool basin. Sediment, rocks, other debris (including mobile phones, jewellery, money) etc are collected and put into wheelbarrow and taken away. Once the pool is empty of sea water te valve is closed. Then we have to wait patiently for the high tide which will breach the sea wall to fill the pool with clean sea water.

The beach huts are removed from the pool surrounds and stored safely away from the risk of damage by the sea.

In spring work starts to prepare the pool for opening. Repairs have to be carried out as there are often lumps taken out of the sea wall and deck during stormy weather. Almost every surface of the pool and much of the surrounds has to be cleaned and painted each year. This is because the site is so exposed to the elements of the weather. The beach huts are put back into place.

How does Shoalstone Pool work?

Pool cleans (as mentioned above) take place during the summer season but only when the high tide is high enough. With the exceptional hot sunny weather last year we had lots of algae growing in the pool making the water look green. Unfortunately we cannot just empty the pool, clean it and refill whenever we like. It is a seawater pool so filling it from a tap would not only be very costly but would mean no salt water in the pool.

Who looks after Shoalstone Pool?

When Torbay Council decided they were no longer going to run the pool Brixham Town Council stepped in. They negotiated a lease with Torbay Council and then set up Shoalstone Pool Ltd to run the pool. Since then it has become Shoalstone Pool Community Interest Company.  All the directors of the company are volunteers. Lots of volunteers have been recruited to carry out a variety of jobs from cleaning and maintenance of the pool and site to running our website. In addition there is the Friends of Shoalstone Pool who organise fundraising events. When funding is required for something specific the FoSP kindly donate the money.

The Pool Manager, Senior Lifeguards and Lifeguards are employed for the summer season only.

Are there any other clubs that have access to the pool?

Throughout the season we are asked by organisations such as schools, visiting scout groups, etc to use the pool. All we ask is for prior notice so we can arrange for sufficient lifeguards to be on duty and for a donation.

Photography provided by Chris Slack




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