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The house known as "The Fives Court"

A Court at Pinner

This article was written by Dale Vargas and appeared on the original EFA website

There is a private house in Pinner, Middlesex called The Fives Court. I have known of its existence for some time but rather lost interest when I found that it no longer contained a working fives court.

Now I have found a booklet celebrating the centenary of the house. It is a limited edition written by Jim Golland, a local historian and former master at Harrow School, and published by the present owners Joanne and Martin Verden. The House was designed by the distinguished architect Cecil Brewer for the furniture designer and shopkeeper, Ambrose Heal. Heal was very keen on physical exercise and insisted on having a lawn tennis court (easy) and fives court (not so easy) incorporated into the design of the house.This book contains an old monochrome photograph of the fives court in which a singles game is taking place - either that or the two are embarking on a game of leap-frog. The court has neither a buttress nor a back wall. Heal had been a pupil at Marlborough College which as all students of fives knows embraces both codes (but did it in 1900?) Was his fives court a hybrid or just a lazy way out?