I've been searching for the answer of the origin/ history of pub games in British pubs. However, this is what I've encountered in some different sources ( including Wikipedia):

In his book, Beer and Skittles, Richard Boston claims that the first regulation concerning national control of pubs was about pub games; Henry VII's statute of 1495 restricted the playing of "indoor games which were distracting Tudor pubmen from archery.

That being said, the time the first pub games were played isn't mentioned anywhere, so I wonder when and where were pub games first played? Why are games an integral part in pub culture in Britain historically? (besides some reason like games are for fun).

1 Answer 1


The pub game Ringing the Bull was brought to England from the Middle-East during the Crusades. It was played in Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, which is thought to be a contender for the oldest pub in England, built in Nottingham in 1189 according to some sources.

Obviously there were pubs which pre-dated "Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem" dating back to the Anglo-Saxon period, and even the Roman period. But as none of those pubs are still in existence, it is very difficult to establish what games, if any, were played in those establishments. However England 'is' considered to be the home of the pub game. Difford's Guide

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    What is your source dating when this game appeared?
    – justCal
    Nov 20, 2023 at 20:30

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