The pool traces its ancestry back to 1860 as a bathing area. In 1879, the Corporation built the largest pool in the South of England (260x80ft), but for men only.
The current pool (120x45ft (37m)) was built in 1902 near the mens' pool (now demolished) so that women could also swim there. It had changing booths and showers and a very high degree of architectural detail, most of which was manufactured locally. The water supply was originally fed from the nearby River Thames.
During the 1950's the water treatment method for the pool changed to mains supply. A heating system was installed, but never used. The pool was closed to the public in 1974.
During the 1990’s, the Reading Dive Club took a lease on the premises and have established a non-swimming meeting place. The ouside of the building has been graphitised, vandalised and has fallen into disrepair.