April 12, 2011
Lawn Bowling Open House April 17, English Game Played in Early Jamestown and Williamsburg
The Williamsburg Inn Lawn Bowling Club hosts an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 17 at the lawn bowling green behind the Williamsburg Inn, 136 E. Francis St., in Williamsburg. Club members will provide free lessons to anyone interested in learning more about the game that dates to 13th-century England.
Shakespeare mentioned lawn bowling in “Richard II.” Henry VIII played the game, as did Charles I, Sir Francis Drake and Walt Disney. In Virginia, William Byrd created a green at Westover Plantation on the James River. Many taverns and estates had their own greens. After the American Revolution, lawn bowling fell out of favor in the United States, possibly because of anti-British sentiment, but the game lived on and thrives today.
In 1966, Colonial Williamsburg built a professional lawn bowling green behind the Williamsburg Inn for guests and visiting teams. In addition to hotel guests, members of the Williamsburg Inn Lawn Bowling Club play regularly and hold tournaments. It is the only professional lawn bowling green in Virginia. The club has 60 members, making it second only in size to New York’s Central Park Lawn Bowling Club in the Northeast Division of the U.S. Lawn Bowling Association.
For more information on the Williamsburg Inn Lawn Bowling Club, tournament schedule and membership, visit www.williamsburglawnbowling.org.
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, restoration and presentation of the 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. Colonial Williamsburg offers more than 1,000 guest rooms among five hotels, including the landmark Williamsburg Inn, four historic dining taverns and six other restaurants, a full-service 20,000-square-foot spa, 45 holes of golf at the Golden Horseshoe golf courses and 67,000 square feet of conference space centered at the renovated and expanded Williamsburg Lodge. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the Foundation’s preservation, research and educational programs. Philanthropic support by individuals, corporations, and foundations benefits the educational mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at colonialwilliamsburg.com.