Cornish kayles

Contributed by Cornwall Museums

THIS OBJECT IS PART OF THE PROJECT 'A HISTORY OF CORNWALL IN 100 OBJECTS'.

TRERICE. Cornish kayles also known as keels or skittles was a poor man's game. Miners played at kayles according to Carew, and Cornish pubs attracted extra custom with keel alleys at the back. Gentry went bowling and houses like Trerice had raised bowling greens.

Trerice's kayles are likely to have come from the Newquay area and may have come from a local pub. They consist of a set of turned baluster-shaped oak ninepins. Known as the cheese, the round ball at Trerice weighs 8 lbs and is about the size of a small pumpkin. This set is unlikely to be as old as Trerice, even though the skittles superficially resemble Tudor table legs.

Photo: Title: Set of a Cornish seventeenth century Cornish skittles at Trerice, Cornwall
Reference: 119594
Copyright: ©NTPL/Nadia Mackenzie

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