Exterior View - Fives Court
Exterior View - The Fives Court



The Fives Court was at the end of the mansion, with the court located inside, directly under the 4 horizontal windows visible in this exterior view.

Fives is a handball-like sport that is English in its origins. “Idle Hour was built with a Fives Court, a novelty to be found in few American homes, is used to play an English Game similar to handball. There is a gallery for spectators with dressing rooms and shower baths underneath.1 There are four types of Fives games - three are available on youtube: Eton, Winchester, Rugby, and Clifton. At this time we are unsure as to which type was played here at Idle Hour.

Eton video from YouTube


Winchester video


Rugby video

1 Restoration Committee. William Kissam Vanderbilt’s Idle Hour: The Mansion. Oakdale, NY: Dowling College, 1996. p. 14.



Do you have information to add? Then please contact Diane Holliday.

Last Modified on May 16, 2012, at 12:31 PM by dh


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