A Tennis Court?
We have uncovered a For Sale by Auction Notice, in the Leeds Mercury from Saturday, September 7th, 1895, for our house.
As we have documented when the house was first built it was called RedBank but later changed it’s name to Penraevon, before being changed again to Bushbury House until finally we reverted it’s name back to Penraevon (confused? then read this) .
The For Sale notice describes the house as a “most artistically designed BIJOU RESIDENCE situate in a healthy part of this readily accessible and fashionable surburb”. Most exciting for us is it details each of its rooms, helping us to understand what their original purposes were.
It says “The most striking and beautiful feature in the house is the Drawing room” with a “quaint ingle nook and a very costly fireplace”, Dining room of good size, domestic offices shut off to themselves, a bathroom a dressing room and W.C. and a lavatory! Three main bedrooms and two attic rooms.
It also goes on to detail the garden with its “terrace, rockery and ash tennis court”. So that is why the garden is so large, flat and rectangular. Have tried researching historic tennis court surfaces as we haven’t really heard of an ‘ash tennis court’ – but not much information…might have to get a bit Time Team and dig a trench when the weather warms up a bit.
Tennis was very popular and was a way for the two sexes to play together. Mixed doubles anyone?
Here’s a full transcription of the listing (the original scan is below)
“REDBANK.” NEWTON PARK, LEEDS.
A most artistically designed BIJOU RESIDENCE, situate in a healthy part of this readily accessible and fashionable suburb. It is approached from the Leeds and Chapletown tram route by the avenue known as St. Mary’s road, and is in the occupation of J.C.Sykes Esq., whose tenancy expires in October next. The most striking and beautiful feature in the house is the Drawing-room, an apartment in size of 18ft by 14ft 6in., having a quaint ingle nook, very costly fireplace, leaded window casements, and rich panelled and openwork ceiling decorations. The Entrance-hall, Vestibule, Staircase, and Landing also display originality and beauty of design. The dimensions of the Dining-room are 14 ½ ft. by 14 ft., without including the large bay window. The Domestic Offices are effectually shut off to themselves, and consist of a large kitchen, scullery, larder, housemaid’s pantry and coal-place. There are three Bedrooms on the First Floor, besides a Dressing-room, Bath-room, Lavatory and w.c. On the Second Floor are two Attic Bedrooms. The Gardens are attractively laid out, and are planted with many varieties of well-grown evergreen shrubs and trees. Besides the rockery, terrace and lawns, they contain a full sized ash tennis-court. The Outbuildings comprise a well-fitted 2-stalled stable and coach-house, with hay-loft and groom’s room over, together with one or two minor offices.
The House is perfect in structure as in design and decoration, and every care has been taken to ensure thoroughly efficient drainage
Here’s the original notice – click to read it full size: