The sport where Dorset has 5% of all the resources in the world

Jul 06, 2014, 02:09 PM

So Wimbledon is over for another year, and it's back to form with no British champions - Andy Murray losing in the quarter finals and Heather Watson going out in the second round.

But take heart, we do have a female world champion who is British. Claire Vigrass from Essex is the world champion of Real Tennis.

In case you don't know, Real Tennis is the oldest version of the game. The story goes that Henry VIII was playing when he heard that Anne Boleyn had been beheaded in 1536. But it dates back even even further than that - maybe as far as fifth century Tuscany.

We're really lucky here in Dorset. There are only 46 courts in the world and we have two, one at Canford School near Wimborne and one in Walditch near Bridport which was built in the late 19th century by the Gundry family.

And late last week, I went to Walditch to find out more about this curious pursuit.