The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 4: British Gardens (1100-1830)

Bowling greens in England

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595. Bowling-greens were formerly a department common in the pleasure-grounds of country seats; but they are now seldom to be found there, and are better known as a description of public gardens in the neighbourhood of towns, for the recreation of the inhabitants. They generally consist of a square space of half an acre or upwards, well drained, rendered perfectly level, and sown down with grass seeds, or covered with smooth turf. The sides are formed of mounds of turf, two or three feet high, on which is generally a terrace walk, surrounding the bowling-green. The mound is to prevent the bowls from running off the green, and the walk is for the use of spectators of the game. These are the essentials, which may have various convenient or ornamental accompaniments; such as a pavilion for refreshments, a surrounding shrubbery for walking in, &c. There is a very handsome one at Birmingham, having several acres of pleasure-ground attached, and with an elegantly fitted up house for the entertainment of the bowlers and their visiters. This house is under the care of the gardener, who has the superintendence of the grounds, and who supplies the refreshments at a price agreed on. There is a bowling-green at the Trindle, near Dudley, with a coffee pavilion and baths attached, and three ponds for fishing, and taking amusement in boats.