To provide you with the best experience on this website, cookies are used. By using the site it's assumed that you're happy with our use of cookies. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. More info on cookies.
Allow cookies

My Itinerary Planner

Welcome to the Itinerary Planner. Use this tool to build your own journey or choose from an exciting range of specially selected tours.

To build your own Itinerary, click Add to Excursion to add an item to your Itinerary basket.

Wirral: childhood home of a Wimbledon legend

23rd June 2014

Categories: News

Lottie Dod: Wimbledon champion five times, the first aged 15
Lottie Dodd, Wimbledon Champion

From Wirral Globe

At the top of Quarry Road, on what was Edgeworth Lane in Bebington sits Edgeworth House residential care home.

This amazing property was once a hotel and restaurant but the story goes further back than you may think.

The land that Unilever research, St Andrews Road and the estates of houses right up to Spital Road used to belong to the Dod family and the whole area was called The Edgeworth Estate.

Little is known of the mother and father except he was a successful cotton merchant so the grand house being built with close and easy access to the ports of Birkenhead and Liverpool made this an obvious choice.

It is the descendants of the parents both back in time and of future generations that make up the Dod legacy.

Lottie and William Dod are both descendants of Sir Anthony Dod of Edge, who commanded the English archers at the Battle of Agincourt.

Charlotte “Lottie” Dod, born on September 24, 1871 and died on June 27, 1960, was an English sportswoman best known as a tennis player.

She won the Wimbledon Ladies’ Singles Championship five times, the first one when she was only fifteen in the summer of 1887.

She remains the youngest ladies’ singles champion, though Martina Hingis was three days younger when she won the women’s doubles title in 1996.

In the autumn of 1905, Dod and her brothers sold Edgeworth and moved to a new home near Newbury, Berkshire.

They had been practising archery from the times before, but all three became more serious now and joined the Welford Park Archers in Newbury.

As one of their ancestors was said to have commanded the English longbowmen at the Battle of Agincourt, they found this an appropriate sport.

Lottie Dod won her first tournament by 1906, and finished fifth in the Grand National Archery Meeting of 1906, 1907 and 1908.

Dod’s performances in the 1908 season earned her a spot on the British Olympic team.

The field in the women’s archery event consisted only of British women, but without the best archer of the era, Alice Legh.

Dod led the competition, held in rainy conditions, after the first day but was surpassed by Queenie Newall on the second day, eventually taking second place with 642 points to Newall’s 688.

After the Welford Archers were disbanded in late 1911, the Dods’ interest in archery faded, meaning the end of Lottie Dod’s long competitive sports career.

In addition to tennis, Dod competed in many other sports, including golf, field hockey, and archery.

William Dod was educated at home by private tutors and his family fortune, gathered from the cotton trade, meant that he never had to work for a living.

He indulged his passion for the sporting life as both a scratch golfer and a big game hunter.

He took up archery at the home of the Legh family, who had an estate close to the Dods in Cheshire and were one of the greatest names in the sport.

William Dod mastered the torrential rain on the first day of the Olympic competition to hold a 10-point advantage.

When the rain gave way to swirling wind conditions on the second day, Dod forged ahead and comfortably took gold with a margin of 47 points over Reginald Brooks-King.

He went to win the Grand National Archery title, effectively the British national title, in 1909 and 1911.

Dod retired from competition after the 1911 championship and rekindled his love of golf.

In 1912 he reached the fourth round of the British Amateur Championship.

After the outbreak of The Great War, Dod enlisted in the Royal Fusiliers and served as a private in the trenches for a brief time before successfully applying for a transfer to the Royal Navy.

He spent a year as an administrative officer in France with the Royal Navy Air Service before being invalided back home to England.

William and Lottie Dod settled at Westward Ho in Devon after World War II and settled to a life of golf in retirement.

In his eighties he moved back to London and died in Earl’s Court in 1954.

By Craig Smith, posted in Facebook group Port Sunlight Village The Real Archives - the Wirral's newest and most definitive group on Port Sunlight History. For more information about the group, go to:  www.facebook.com/groups/portsunlightvillagetherealarchives

Book Accommodation

Type:
Location:
Keyword: (OPTIONAL)
Price

Price Range: (£) 10 - 1000

Check-in date
Add Room

Search Attractions & Activities

Type:
Location:
Keyword: (OPTIONAL)

Search What's On

Type:
Location:
Keyword: (OPTIONAL)

Search Food & Drink

Type:
Location:
Keyword: (OPTIONAL)

Book Accommodation

Type:
Location:
Keyword: (OPTIONAL)
Price

Price Range: (£) 10 - 1000

Check-in date
Add Room

Plan your perfect stay in Wirral with reviews about Wirral Hotels

Trip Advisor