Rare Victorian tennis pavilion in Scarborough on national Endangered Buildings list 2024

The pavilion is one of the oldest remaining examplesThe pavilion is one of the oldest remaining examples
The pavilion is one of the oldest remaining examples
The Bramcote Tennis Pavilion, on the corner of Belvedere Road and Holbeck Hill, has been placed on The Victorian Society’s Top Ten Endangered Buildings list 2024.

The Arts and Crafts veranda-style bungalow was once a lawn tennis pavilion, among the earliest structures for the modern sport internationally.

Dating back to the sport's inception in the 1860s-1870s, it holds significance in Scarborough's tennis history which included championship-level competitions. It was commissioned for the North of England Lawn Tennis Club from local architect John Hall.

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The building boasts changing rooms for both sexes, a significant social aspect of the sport demonstrating that women were playing early in the game’s history.

Bramcote Tennis Pavilion, Scarborough - Photo: Robert WaltonBramcote Tennis Pavilion, Scarborough - Photo: Robert Walton
Bramcote Tennis Pavilion, Scarborough - Photo: Robert Walton

The addition of the building to the Victorian Society’s Endangered Building list aims to highlight the urgent restoration needed to preserve the historic structure.

Griff Rhys Jones, Victorian Society President, said “I am reeling. How can we not find a proper new use for this elegant testament to the history of tennis? Like all good old buildings, it is an education in itself.

“Neglect and indifference set a hugely bad example to young people.”

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The Victorian Society said in a news release: “Following a failed application to demolish the pavilion for housing, the owner, Scarborough College Company, a school, invested heavily in a state-of-the-art athletics track immediately beside the pavilion.

The building has become dilapidated over the yearsThe building has become dilapidated over the years
The building has become dilapidated over the years

“However, the pavilion, now fenced off, dilapidates, and awaits restoration, leaving its rich sporting legacy degrading, despite the school’s assertion when applying for permission for the athletics track that the pavilion would be better appreciated by increased visitors to the grounds.”

A spokesperson for Scarborough College said: "The statement from the Victorian Society is factually inaccurate.

“The athletics facilities at Bramcote were built with private money for the benefit of the whole community, and we are very appreciative of the opportunities this has brought to the town.

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“The land containing the track, field events facilities, and pavilion are part of a long-term lease to Bramcote Athletics Limited company.”

Bramcote Tennis Pavilion, Scarborough - Photo: Robert WaltonBramcote Tennis Pavilion, Scarborough - Photo: Robert Walton
Bramcote Tennis Pavilion, Scarborough - Photo: Robert Walton

Director of Bramcote Athletics Ltd, Richard Guthrie, said the comments made by the VS were "frustrating".

He said: "From what I understand it has been in a dilapidated state for many years. In more recent times the site has been tidied up significantly."

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