Lisle’s Tennis Court

Theatre in/near Chancery Lane, existed between 1656 and 1848

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Theatre · Chancery Lane · WC2A ·
MARCH
23
2018

Lisle’s Tennis Court was a building off Portugal Street in Lincoln’s Inn Fields in London.

William Davenant had Lisle
Credit: Henry Herringman, London, 1673
Originally built as a real tennis court, it was used as a playhouse during two periods, 1661–1674 and 1695–1705. During the early period, the theatre was called Lincoln’s Inn Fields Playhouse, also known as The Duke’s Playhouse, The New Theatre or The Opera. The building was demolished and replaced by a purpose-built theatre for a third period, 1714–1728.

The tennis court theatre was the first public playhouse in London to feature the moveable scenery that would become a standard feature of Restoration theatres.

xxx

William Davenant had Lisle
Henry Herringman, London, 1673


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VIEW THE CHANCERY LANE AREA IN THE 1750s
The 1750 Rocque map is bounded by Sudbury (NW), Snaresbrook (NE), Eltham (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1750 map does not display.

VIEW THE CHANCERY LANE AREA IN THE 1800s
The 1800 mapping is bounded by Stanmore (NW), Woodford (NE), Bromley (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1800 map does not display.

VIEW THE CHANCERY LANE AREA IN THE 1830s
The 1830 mapping is bounded by West Hampstead (NW), Hackney (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Chelsea (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1830 map does not display.

VIEW THE CHANCERY LANE AREA IN THE 1860s
The 1860 mapping is bounded by Brent Cross (NW), Stratford (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Hammermith (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1860 map does not display.

VIEW THE CHANCERY LANE AREA IN THE 1900s
The 1900 mapping covers all of the London area.

 

Chancery Lane

Chancery Lane originated as a 'new lane' created by the Knights Templar from their original 'old Temple' on the site of the present Southampton Buildings on Holborn, in order access to their newly acquired property to the south of Fleet Street (the present Temple) sometime before 1161.

Historically, the street was associated with the legal profession, an association which continues to the present day; however, consulting firms, ancillary businesses and the Maughan Library also occupy the street. Lincoln's Inn occupies most of the western side north of Carey Street.

The principal building of the Law Society, the professional body for solicitors in England and Wales, is at No. 113. Ede and Ravenscroft, the oldest tailors in London, have their main (and historic) outlet and offices at No. 93, which is also their outlet for legal dress. The London Silver Vaults are located at the northern end of Chancery Lane.

Note that the marker shows the location of the tube station rather than the street.

Chancery Lane tube station lies at the junction of Holborn and Gray's Inn Road, a short distance from Chancery Lane's northern end.

The station was opened by the Central London Railway (CLR) on 30 July 1900. The original, disused station building is on the north side of High Holborn at nos. 31–33, approximately 400 feet to the west, closer to High Holborn's junction with Chancery Lane. Originally, provided with four lifts between ground and platform levels, the station was rebuilt in the early 1930s to operate with escalators. It was not possible to construct the inclined escalator shaft between the platforms and the existing entrance and so a new sub-surface ticket hall was constructed below the road junction. The old entrance building became redundant and, in recognition of the location of the new entrance, the station was renamed Chancery Lane (Gray's Inn), although the suffix subsequently fell out of use.

It is one of eight London Underground stations which has a deep-level air-raid shelter underneath it. After World War II this was turned into Kingsway telephone exchange. Access to the shelter was via the original station building and lift shaft as well as subsidiary entrances in Furnival Street and Took's Court.
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