The Oldest Game Boards I Have Played On


When I go to museums and historical sites I like to look for games and game equipment. Inevitably when I find some, they are behind a protective barrier of glass. so when I learned that some English cathedrals had game boards carved on to the buildings themselves i began my quest to find some.

I scoured the internet and countless book , untill I found a photo of what is described in RC Bells game book as a nine hole game in the cloisters of Westminster Abbey. I photographed the page with my IPad and while visiting Westminster I took my time wandering from pillar to pilllar comparing it to the photo.

Eventualy I found the pillar where at the base the faint holes of the game board still remained. Then I sat down and played nine hole using pieces from my portable backgammon board. Much to the amusement of some of the other visitors.


I found this Fox and Geese board carved into a window sill in the undercroft of Lanercost Priory. There is a second board, a partially intact Nine Man Morris board, nearby. They were much easier to find than the ones at Westminster, but this did not take away from my enjoyment of playing on them.

Playing on these ancient game boards gave me a feeling of being connected to history. If anyone knows of any similar game boards, please share them in the comments.


London Skittles


The Freemasons Arms pub in London hosts the last London skittles alleys in existence. London skittles is a game similar to bowling with a few notable exceptions. The object of the game is to knock down the nine wooden pins in four or less throws. However, instead of using a ball a heavy wooden disk called a cheese is thrown at the pins.

The club plays every Tuesday from 8pm to 11pm and also occasionally on Saturdays. Be sure to look at the video linked below to see some of the club members in action.

Field Expedient Dice Tray


I was in a airport waiting for a flight recently. To pass the time I offered to play the person sitting next to me in a dice game. There were no tables in our waiting area. So we used a book to roll the dice on. I found that keeping the dice from falling off the book was a challange.

Fortunately I had a length of cord in my carry on luggage. I tied the ends of the cord to form a loop just big enough to fit on the book we were using as a table. After a few experimental rolls we found that the cord kept the dice from falling of the book without interfering the roll.

So next time you are trying to roll dice on a surface that is a little to small for the job, try this simple tip