Royal Tennis Court, Hampton Court

Royal Tennis Court, Hampton Court

Royal Tennis Court, Hampton Court

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The Royal Tennis Court, Hampton Court Palace is a real tennis court which was built for Henry VIII of England, who played there from 1528, and is still home to an active real tennis club.

During the 17th century various improvements were made to the court. One of the first acts of Charles II after his restoration in 1660 was to order the extensive refitting of the Tudor Tennis Court. This included the laying of a new tile floor, the remodelling of the galleries and repairs to the roof. At the same time, new nets, curtains and velvet cushions for the spectator's seats were provided. The interlaced initials above the net on the wall opposite the corridors are however not those of Charles but of William and Mary (1689–1702). Since the end of the 17th century the court has undergone little alteration. However progress is not incompatible with history: in 1975 sodium halide lighting was installed making the court the best lit in Great Britain and possibly anywhere.

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