Rushmore golf course from guide

Very little is known about whether Pitt-Rivers was himself interested in playing sports. There are references to his father-in-law complaining that he was a fanatical  shooter of game as Nancy Mitford relates. This might be expected for a soldier with a very strong interest in weapons, particularly firearms. He obviously could ride a horse as all men who were able-bodied and of his class would have done during the nineteenth century. However, he does not seem to have been keen on people hunting his land at Rushmore. He did not reinstate the hunt which had been cancelled by his predecessor, Lord Rivers, in 1789 as he relates here. There are several letters in the Pitt-Rivers papers at Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum asking his permission to hunt or fish on his land.

He was keen to provide opportunities for the public to take part in sporting events on his estate. He established a golf-course in 1896 on his estate. Nine of the holes were in Wiltshire and nine in Dorset as his estate straddled the county border. He loaned out equipment for a small charge and provided a set of St Andrews rules so that players of any standard or practically any financial resources could take advantage of the facilities.

He also provided a race course, (which covered some of the same ground as the golf course).

Finally he provided some lawn tennis courts, for which he also provided equipment which could be hired.

AP June 2012


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