Cheese skittles

19 01 2008

The Kings Arms in Farthingstone, Northamptonshire, not only has has a great atmosphere and fantastic beer but also has games room complete with a traditional Northamptonshire skittles table.

Table is ready

Northamptonshire skittles can also be found in other parts of the East Midlands, such as Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Leicestershire. It is also known as hood skittles, or (locally) table skittles, and features a diamond of nine pins which the player attempts to knock down with a three cheeses, which should be made from the wood Lignum Vitae (I don’t know if the ones at the Kings Arms are made of this… but at least they are wooden and not plastic as is sometimes the case).

Some go down

The table has a leather base with padded leather sides and a rope net over the top (hence hood skittles). This use of leather may be the reason for the variant of skittles in the area as workers from Northampton may have used the off-cuts from the shoe factories for the table.

The game is about to start...

In the middle is the cheese

If you want to try the game then this is the Kings Arms:

Kings Arms

Which you can see on Google maps here

— words and pictures by Paul

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