view of a city centre court
One of the oldest tennis courts in England is found in Merton Street, just behind Christ Church here viewed from Oxford’s Carfax tower.  Christ Church was briefly known as Henry the Eighth College after Cardinal Wolsey displeased the monarch and had the college that was to bear his name taken away from him.  Shapes of a Cardinal hat can still be spotted in the architecture of Christ Church.  The Church of England later renamed the college after Henry the Eighth’s power subsided.  Henry the Eighth visited Oxford and is said to have played tennis here, on the court at Merton, behind the tower shown above.  The Merton Street court is smaller than today’s regulation dimensions and has a buttress as part of the court.  Unlike our wonderful female English tennis stars playing at Wimbledon today, I bet Henry the Eighth never lost a game!
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Friday, 29 June 2012