History

The Court

Originally built in 1885, the real tennis court at The Hyde has had a colourful history, and has undergone numerous changes in its time. More recently it has been renovated to its former glory, and is once again one of the finest examples of a Real Tennis court anywhere in the world.

The Game

Real Tennis is the oldest of all the racket sports and dates back many hundreds of years. Started originally as a form of handball, the game was first written about by French monks in the 12th Century, but has been traced back all the way to 5th Century Tuscany. Over time, the game developed and saw many changes, such as the introduction of rackets. Popularity of the sport grew and by the early part of the 19th Century there were many hundreds of courts throughout Europe.

Towards the end of the 19th Century some courts fell into disuse as the game was superseded by the recently devised game of Lawn Tennis.

However, the last 20 years has seen a resurgence in the sport and some new and old courts like the Hyde are being rebuilt and renovated.

Courtesy of the author and www.dorsetlife.co.uk

Courtesy of the author and www.dorsetlife.co.uk

Rules of the Hyde Tennis Court c.1895

Equivalent Prices (2017)

Racquet = £120

Shoes = £65 - £80

Fresh stringing a Racquet = £40

Single Strings, per String = £2 - £4

Coronation of King George VI, 1937

Coronation of King George VI, 1937

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