The Royal Tennis Court
The Royal Tennis Court has a long history. The first tennis court at Hampton Court was built for Cardinal Wolsey, between 1526 and 1529. Later, Henry VIII, As a young man was a keen and talented tennis player, who spent hours on court.
There has been a tennis court at Hampton Court since 1625, when this one was built for Charles I. Three of the walls of the court in use today are 17th-century, with the other being Cardinal Wolsey’s original.
The game of real tennis is played in a court divided between the service end and the hazard end. ‘Hazards’ include the grille window and the winning gallery. Players at the hazard end lose the point if the hazards are hit.
Henry VIII would recognise a game of real tennis if he saw it today: it has changed little since he enjoyed it. The equipment is still hand-made on the tennis court site, as it has been for nearly 500 years.
Although the game looks like a strange mixture of tennis and squash, the techniques, strategies and rules are both more difficult and more complex than those of the modern derivatives. Despite this complexity, the game can be played at various speeds allowing for players of all ages and abilities to play.
The Royal Tennis Court is one of fewer than fifty real tennis courts in the world, and one of the few courts in the world where the public can watch this intriguing sport.
Head Professional, Nick Wood, and his assistants organize the club’s day to day programme. While members can book the court for their own games, the pros are on hand should you need help finding a suitable a opponent.
All of the professionals are available to give individual, hour-long lessons. Small groups of 3 can also arrange lessons.
The professionals arranges a wide range of tournaments to suit all playing standards.
New members are always welcome, particularly youngsters ages 12 to 21. So, why not give the professionals a call and arrange a lesson to try the game.
Comfortable Club Rooms, including a dining room with kitchen facilities and a secluded walled garden, are available to members and guests. The club rooms are available for hire by members. The club has an active policy of arranging a number of social events throughout the year.