The Oldest Game Boards I Have Played On

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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.

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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.

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