A traditional sport played in the villages and surrounding countryside of pre-industrial England and surviving into the early 20th century. Its popularity was based on its cheapness, as stones were gathered from the countryside and ‘bowled’ along outdoor routes, and on the accessibility of the matches to keen gambling publics. Such an activity was of clear threat to urban settings in which trade, commerce, and residential respectability were at the core of the new industrial and commercial social order. Bowling stones was, by the 1920s and 1930s, legislated out of official existence in English urban areas.
Subjects: Sport and Leisure.