As members of the club will know, work on the court extension has started (you can read more about the plans for the extension in the November 2014 and April 2015 Newsletters). One of the first stages of the project is to quarry and cut the stone for the outside wall.
The Tennis Court lies within the curtilage of a Grade I listed estate and the outside stone wall is a planning requirement for the extension to fit into the existing surrounds and to do this it will replicate the nearby terrace wall.
The stone for the wall has been quarried from the Hythe seam in the nearby Winter’s Pit in Easebourne. The seam is the upper greensand laid down in the lower cretaceous period, about 125 million years ago (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greensand_Ridge) .
The stone was quarried by exposing the sandstone seam and drilling deep holes which are filled with special slurry; this expands over about a day and causes a 5 tonne cube of sandstone to be released – no explosives.
It took a month to quarry sufficient stone which was then taken to Shropshire to be cut to the required sizes. These are currently being transported to Petworth for storage and drying and for the surface to be tooled with the Leconfield Estate design. The photos below show both the quarrying and the finished stone, including those forming the plinth and the large coping stones, a very impressive transformation.