Historic tennis court back in action

Falkland Palace.'National Trust for Scotland.
Falkland Palace.'National Trust for Scotland.

THE historic tennis court at Falkland Place is back in action after essential repairs were completed.

The repair work on the oldest royal tennis court in Scotland cost £62,000 and was funded from a number of sources, including the trust’s own internal funds, along with contributions from Historic Scotland and the generous support of an anonymous donor.

DEFECTIVE

Will Napier, surveyor with the National Trust for Scotland, said: “The work carried out consisted of repairing penthouse or viewing gallery roofs, replacing a defective rainwater gutter between the court and the adjoining royal stables and decoration works throughout.

“Investigations also took place to determine the condition of the render that cover the tennis court walls, with a view to informing a future repair strategy.”

The court, built in 1539 during the reign of King James V, is one of the only surviving royal (or real) tennis courts left in Europe is the home of a group of enthusiasts who still play on the court, the Falkland Royal Tennis Club.

ADVANTAGE

Royal tennis is a form of the sport that is more like squash as players hit the ball against the wall to gain the advantage.

Points can be won and lost by making errors, like hitting the ball into the net or out the court, as well as hitting the ball into the winning sections of the court known as openings consisting of dedans, grille and the winning gallery.