The history of Lansdown

The Lansdown Club has a fascinating history attached to it which begins over 100 years ago.


On 13 September 1882, a group of enthusiasts got together to form The Lansdown Private Lawn Tennis Club with a limit of fifty members. A lease was negotiated with Charlecombe Church and a local farmer for land between Richmond Road and Lansdown Road which included an unused Racquets court which had been there for many years.


Within a few years, demand for membership was so great that it was agreed to make the club open to any members.


Many improvements were made to the facilities and playing surfaces and between 1923 and 1925 the club purchased its present land from the church and also land from a local builder for a consideration of £1,250.


In 1970 negotiations took place to amalgamate with Lansdown Squash Club which owned land in St Stephens Road. This land was sold to Bath University and the proceeds funded the construction of four new courts behind the existing Clubhouse and changing rooms. Around this time a grassed area on the lower level land had started to be used for Croquet.


In 1979 the Club took its first steps towards converting the grass tennis courts to astroturf and converting the ‘birdcage’ grass tennis court into a second Croquet Lawn, allowing the Croquet section to expand.  A croquet club was formed, with 2003 AGM minutes noting its 20th anniversary, however following a failed planning application for expansion onto a new four lawn facility on Granville Road, a section of Lansdown Croquet members moved away to form the Camerton & Peasedown Croquet Club (which opened for business in the spring of 2012) with the top croquet lawn being replaced by “Centre Court” in the May preceding – a new floodlit hard tennis court primarily for junior use.  A smaller croquet section remained, based on the original lower level croquet lawn – more integrated into the club as of the May 2010 AGM when the name of the club was changed from “The Lansdown Lawn Tennis and Squash Rackets Club” to “The Lansdown Tennis, Squash and Croquet Club”.


Over the fifteen years following 1979, all the grass courts were replaced by astroturf courts and the three lower courts were covered with macadam.  The astroturf courts transformed the tennis section of the Club and membership numbers grew steadily.  In 2015, four of the astroturf courts were converted to artificial clay courts and these have proved very popular with members and visitors alike.  Floodlighting was introduced in the 1970’s, expanded to its current coverage of all the top courts (1-7 and Centre) by the addition of lights to Courts 4 & 5 in 2016/17, and upgraded in April 2023 to LEDs in a side-lit formation.


In 1997 a Club member re-designed the Clubhouse in the form you see it in today.  Regular refurbishment takes place including a reception corridor and changing room refresh which took place in the summer of 2020 (during the Covid pandemic empty clubhouse era) and a Reception Office refurb in Spring 2023.


Some artefacts showing this amazing history are on display in the Clubroom. These include photos, trophies and the honour boards above the Bar.