The Oldest Private Softball Squash Court in the World

The squash court at Lilford Hall is the oldest private softball court in the world. It was built around 1923 by the Fifth Baron Lilford (John Powys), a keen sportsman of his time. Not only did he excel at squash, but he was also a first-class standard cricketer playing for the County of Northamptonshire against India.

The 'softball' or 'international' court size was codified in London in 1923 at 32 feet (9.75 m) long and 21 feet (6.4 m) wide. The front wall was provided with an "out line" 15 feet (4.57 m) above the floor, connected by a raking "out" line meeting the "out" line on the back wall at 7 feet (2.13 m) above the floor. The front wall also has a "service line" (originally called the "cut line") 6 feet (1.83 m) above the floor with a 19 in high "tin" acting as a 'net' (originally sheeted with metal in order to make a distinctive sound when hit by the ball). The floor is marked with a transverse "half-court" line and further divided into two rear "quarter courts" and two "service boxes".

The squash court at Lilford Hall is in serious disrepair, the whole roof having fallen into the inner court. The outer four walls are still standing, and it is planned to restore this historic squash court to its former glory.