Take 5… Homes with tennis courts


With the annual Wimbledon Championship just starting, many of us will be tuning in to watch the games and hoping the weather is favourable for the competition. While some might be indulging in strawberries and cream for the occasion, we’ve taken the opportunity to take a look at the game’s origins and how it became one of the world’s most loved sports. We have also chosen some of the best properties currently on the market with a tennis court should the tournament inspire you to want to play from the comfort of your own home.

Historically, tennis is one of the oldest racket sports in the world and was popularised in the 16th century with the name stemming from the French ‘tenez’ which means to ‘hold’ or ‘receive’. The original form of the game is today called ‘real tennis’, favoured by Henry VIII and played within a walled court – there more than 50 active real tennis courts still in existence today in the UK, US, France and Australia. Moving forward in time, the invention of the lawn mower in Britain in 1830 is recognised to be the catalyst for lawn tennis allowing for the creation of modern grass courts, pitches, cricket greens etc. leading to the increased popularity of the game. In the 19th century, the lawn tennis club was established for the first time in Leamington Spa.

The first Wimbledon Championship was held in 1877 and was the trigger for the standardisation of the game’s rules. By the early 1900s, what is understood as the Slams had been established: Wimbledon, the US Open, the French Open, and the Australian Open. With the emergence of large scale tournaments came the increasing popularity of tennis as a spectator sport and a growing interest in the game from fans. Unlike many other sports, tennis was a game to be played by both women and men, and was able to be played on croquet lawns and hence so easily adopted by households. Through the 20th century, popularity increased thanks to its promotion through community tennis courts, televised competitions, inclusion in the Olympics and that the game is relatively easy to pick up with minimal equipment costs.

From grass courts with court side viewing, to all weather courts for year round playing, take a look at the homes below to encourage you to dust off your racket and trainers and hit the court…

Chilton, Neen Savage, Worcestershire

Sitting at the head of a sweeping drive, flanked with Corsican pine trees, Chilton is a striking three storey property. Steps lead down to the side of the house, where there is a grass tennis court, edged with mature hornbeam and naturally fed pond.

Spottes House, Haugh of Urr, Castle Douglas

Spottes House is a beautifully renovated Georgian house in an idyllic setting in the heart of south west Scotland. The grounds are a special feature of this charming estate, including a lovely tennis court.

The Old Rectory, Chilton Foliat, Berkshire

The Old Rectory is a fine Grade II listed former rectory of considerable charm and character. The gardens surrounding the house itself are beautifully designed and maintained, with the vegetable patch and tennis court tucked away out of sight from the main house.

West Mains of Huntingtower, Perth, Perthshire

West Mains of Huntingtower is a period country house to the West of Perth. Within the secluded grounds, there is a charming orchard area, populated with Apple and Plum trees, and an all-weather tennis court.

Court Lodge, Valley Road, Kent

Court Lodge occupies a very special position in the North Downs. It benefits from a large heated swimming pool, tennis court and separate astro turf football pitch.

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