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Our History

Craven Lawn Tennis Club has been established in Gargrave since 1879 when a group of keen local players got together and bought some land alongside the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. They then built a lovely colonial-style pavilion, hand-rolled the grass and marked out five grass tennis courts! 


There was the addition of a second tarmac court in 1959 at a cost of £460.9s.9d.  The Club continued with the tarmac courts until 2017 when they were replaced with an all-weather surface.   


The Club now boasts three all weather courts which can be used all the year round and four grass courts.   


The original pavilion was disastrously destroyed by a raging fire in 1995, much to the horror of all those who had known and loved it for so many years.  It took a dedicated team of fund-raisers and stalwarts of the Club to find the money and resources to build a new clubhouse – many ideas were put forward but in reflection of the club’s traditional values, it was in the end a unanimous decision to build a modern building but as an exact replica of its predecessor.  Hence, the many visitors to the Club are delighted to see what resembles a beautiful old pavilion, but what is in fact a modern building. 


The Club celebrated its 125th Anniversary in style in 2004 with both a Dinner and an in-house Club Championship.


In 2017, the club constructed a new all-weather court and converted the exting two tarmac courts into all-weather surfaces. This has enabled many players to enjoy tennis all year round, often come rain or shine!


Floodlights were a welcome edition in 2023. Meaning tennis can truely be played all year round. 



Excerpts from the Clubs Committee minutes

1910 "Any player playing without tennis shoes shall be fined 10s.6d. Anyone playing with heels to their shoes shall be fined 2s.6d. for the first offence, with an increasing penalty for further offences"
1912 "School children are allowed to play on Club days when the courts are held by members but must use old balls"
1914 At the AGM it was proposed by Dr Wales and seconded by Miss Dewhurst that two new courts should be made at the south side of the existing courts at a cost of £80.
1915 At the AGM the Chairman proposed that Officers of all units quartered in this area should be honary members for the duration of the war.
1916 At a committee meeting extensions of sympathy were offeredto committee members who had suffered bereavement during the war. After a prolonged discussion it was agreed not to open the Club for play during the war.  Middlebrook the groundsman was instructed to mow the grass once a week as it was thought the quality of the lawns would go off by merely grazing sheep.
1938 The sale of Ginger beer raised 7s 6d
1943 Again the Club was closed for the duration of the war. The land was grazed at £2 per annum and oats were dried in the pavillion until it re-opened in October 1945.
1952 The grounds were purchased from Mr Martin Wilson for £650 plus £25 costs.
1959 A second hard court was commissioned for £460.9s.9d.
1968 Introduction of the clubs first electricity supply
1995 During the early hours of February 4th, the Club's original timber Pavillion was destroyed by fire.


We are located at:

Craven Lawn Tennis Club

Behind Smithy Croft Road


BD23 3SL

Contact us:

If you have any queries or wish to contact us:


01756 749664




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