News from the Parish

A History of the Squash Court at Cornhill - Booklet

To All Members, Ex-Members, Friends of the Cornhill Squash Club, and other Acquaintances


There has been a squash court at Cornhill in the parish of Pattishall, near Towcester, since 1909. With the help of several Club members, friends and a few archivists, I have pieced together the history of the squash court over the period of 113 years and produced a booklet that explains the background, the various owners and the link between the court and grand house on the Cornhill estate, originally built by a colliery owner from Tynemouth in the North East of England.


There are many interesting aspects to this long history of the court, particularly through the military connections, the development of the Cornhill estate as a hotel and how the squash court became a private members’ club in the second half of the 20th century. Not forgetting the slightly tenuous links with such diverse characters as Winston Churchill and Kevin Keegan. All of this is explained in detail in the booklet.


My personal involvement with the squash court has been as member of the Cornhill Squash Club spanning some thirty years, since moving to Towcester from the North. I have been fortunate enough to make many friends through the Club, several who have been playing squash at Cornhill for at least as long as me, and some a lot longer! The Club continues to thrive in this same rural location, with the facilities largely unchanged from the initial construction – a real piece of local history.


To help raise funds to support the ongoing maintenance of the court and the property, the Cornhill Squash Club Committee (of which I am a member) has agreed to direct any profits from the sale proceeds of this booklet to that end. The guide price is £5 per copy but any contribution above this would be much appreciated.


To secure your own copy or copies, please just reply to this email and confirm how you wish to receive it/them.




1. Collect from the Cornhill Squash Club (NN12 8LQ) on either Thursday 4th August between 5.30pm and 7pm or Saturday 13th August between 10am and 12 noon. If you use this option, you may pay by cash, cheque or bank transfer on collection. Other collection dates may be added, subject to demand.


2. Receive the booklet by post. Please include your address in your reply email and add £1.30 per copy to cover packaging and postage. If you prefer this option, you will need to pay by bank transfer, details of which will be supplied to you once you have replied to this email.


3. An agreed method of supply and payment that suits both parties.


Please feel free to pass this communication to anyone you believe might be interested in purchasing a copy of this booklet.


Many thanks for your support.




John Carrington

+44 (0)7598 404958

Cornhill Squash Club


Nr Towcester

NN12 8LQ

History Recorded in Pattishall

Saturday 10th November 2018 will be recorded as a day in the history making of Pattishall.


We were celebrating 120 years of Pattishall Church of England Primary School and Commemorating the Centenary of the closure of Eastcote Prisoner of War Camp. Two totally unrelated events but drawn together through celebration and commemoration.


They became associated because the pupils have recorded their own school's 120 years of history and completed a project about the POW camp. Emma McLean the Head Teacher explained what they had done and the pupil’s work was displayed. A school choir, organised especially for the day, sang two songs beautifully with one specially written by one of the teachers and has been entered into a competition!


Colin Chapman the co-author of 'Detained in England' shared his recent research and findings about the camp. There is definitely a second book in the offering! Little did we know of the importance of the Eastcote Camp - it was the central figure in the South East corner of England coordinating all camps down to the south coast, through Kent and up to East Anglia.


100 years ago, in the fields opposite the school, a World War 1 Prisoner of War Camp was established, Eastcote Camp, which at one time held 4,509 POWs and had a great impact on the life of the local community.


At the end of the war, the POWs were repatriated, the camp closed, and the buildings taken down and the fields returned to farming. (Two of the buildings were removed to School Road and one became the Village Hall until the early 1980's)


For 100 years, there has been nothing to show that the camp ever existed. The Parish Council decided to commemorate this very important part of our Parish history with a Memorial Stone – now sited on the grass verge opposite the school.


It is hoped that both present and future generations will be aware of Eastcote Camp.


Click here to read more