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Tudor wooden bowling ball

Wooden ball excavated from the moat of the Tudor manor house at Stepney Green
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Excavations at Stepney Green uncovered the remains of a 15th century moated manor house. King John’s Court or Palace was home to the wealthy Fenne family. From the early 17th century the manor house became known as Worcester House after its owner the Marquis of Worcester.

Look at this wooden ball. Is it different from the balls you play with today?

This wooden ball was excavated from the moat of the Tudor manor house. It may have been used as a ‘jack’ in a game of bowls or skittles. Ball games were very popular with the wealthy at this time. King Henry VIII loved bowls but banned poor people from playing it.

It is made from willow. It may have been used as a ‘jack’ in a game of bowls, or in a game of skittles. Ball games were very popular with rich people at this time. King Henry VIII loved bowls but banned poor people from playing it!