Southwark Park Bowling

Discover Southwark Park Bowling Club, give bowls a go and meet people who enjoy they skill of a game. They will be happy to happy out beginners while embracing this long sports tradition. Enjoy the game in a relax and friendly environment surrounding by the magnificence green spaces of the park.

Southwark Park Bowling Club is one of the oldest sports clubs in Bermondsey and Rotherhithe. Southwark Park Bowling Club celebrated its centenary in the summer of 2008. It is located in the north side of Southwark Park (see map) with easy access from Jamaica Road, Southwark Park Road or Gomm Road and within walking distance of Bermondsey, Canada Water and Surrey Quays stations.

Southwark Park Bowling Club

Southwark Park Bowling Club

Bowling: A brief history

Bowls is such an old game that its beginnings will surely never be known. It was probably played in the Stone Age,and manuscripts from the thirteenth and fourteenth century show two players delivering one bowl each towards a conical marker.
In England the pas-time was so popular the powers that be worried it would distract men from the serious business of archery, so it was outlawed to commoners by various Acts of Parliament. Remarkably these laws remained in force until 1845, though perhaps less surprising is how noblemen continued to play the game with out hindrance.
We all know about Sir Francis Drake’s game on Plymouth Hoe, and both  William Shakespeare and Samuel Pepys mention the game in their writings.

The Scottish were responsible for the introduction of the modern game, with the laying of truly flat greens, often using sea washed turf, and the formula tion of a code of laws in 1849.

The Game

Lawn Bowls is usually played straight up and down a lawn. In “Singles”, each player has four bowls called “woods” (although these days, 90% of bowls are made from a resin material) which are rolled alternately at a target ball called a Jack or Kitty. Other games are “Pairs” – four players in two teams, each player having four bowls, “Triples” – three players with three bowls each and “Rinks” or “Fours” – four players two bowls each. Each bowl is less rounded on one side which results in the bowl being “biased” in one direction due to the extra weight on one side. The bias of a correctly rolled bowl ensures that it follows a slightly curved path as it rolls which accentuates as the bowl comes to a halt. The Jack is a smaller white ball without a bias.

Southwark Park Bowling Green Practice Rink

Southwark Park Bowling Club Practice Rink

Southwark Park Bowling Club Practice Rink

An artificial practice rink Located just to the south, and along side the main green, the new rink offers a great opportunity for greater access to bowls. It is smaller than the traditional grass area.  However, the high durability of artificial turf and low maintenance means that the rink should not fall victim to the elements and can remain a suit – able playing surface all year round.  It is very much hoped that people with disabilities, such as wheel – chair users, will be able to come and play the game for the first time in Southwark Park.
The practice facility will also encourage young people and local schools to take up, and learn the game.

Location and transport

Entrances: Jamaica Road, Lower Road, Southwark Park Road and Gomm Road, SE16.
Tube: Bermondsey or Canada Water (Jubilee line).
Bus: Numbers 1, 47, 188, 199, 225, 381, 395, P13.
Car/bike parking: The car park is located at Hawkstone Road. Bikes can be parked at Hawkstone Road and Gomm Road.

Learn more about Lawn Bowling

If you would like to learn more about the rules of Lawn Bowling, you can visit the BBC’s Beginner’s guide to bowls

  BBC’s Beginner’s guide to bowls

You can also learn more about the amazing history of Southwark Park Bowling Club by downloading the PDF booklet Southwark Park Bowling Club 1908-2101 written by Pat Kingwell

  PDF booklet Southwark Park Bowling Club 1908-2101


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