Our new season is now open: Spring 1677 !
Pell mell was a game originally developed in France, but brought to England during the Restoration, where it quickly became very popular. In his diary, Samuel Pepys mentions seeing the sport for the very first time on April 2nd, 1661. The name derives from the old French word “pallemaille” meaning “ball and mallet”, which are the pieces of equipment required to play. It is believed to be a precursor to the game of croquet.
The game is played outdoors on a long, alley-like playing field. Players use their mallets to drive their ball down the length of the field. Upon reaching the end, they must then shoot their balls through a ring suspended above the ground from a pole. The first person to do so in the fewest hits is declared the winner.
Pell mell is a very sociable activity, enjoyed by both men and women. The Pell Mell Green in St. James' Park has been designed specifically for the game. It is said to be a particular favorite of Mary Stuart and the Duke of Monmouth.