Members of The Queen’s Club have the chance to play Real Tennis on some of the most historic courts in the country. At Queen’s, widely regarded as the headquarters of Real Tennis in the UK, there are two courts, both in a building that forms the oldest part of the Club, dating from 1886.
Real tennis is the original indoor racquet sport from which the modern game of lawn tennis is descended. It is also known as jeu de paume in France, “court tennis” in the United States, “Royal Tennis” in Australia. It is still played by enthusiasts on 47 existing courts in the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States, and France.
A real tennis court is enclosed by walls on all four sides, three of which have sloping roofs, known as “penthouses”, beneath which are various openings (“galleries”) from which spectators can watch the game. There is also a buttress (tambour) which intrudes into the playing area off which shots may be played.
The courts at Queen’s are known as the East Court and the West Court. The East Court is used for Championship matches, such as the British Open, as more spectators can be accommodated than on the West Court.