Wrotham Bowls Club became a viable organisation in early 1988 when a number of local residents got together and the Club was born. At the time it was only known that the site had once been a bowling green in the past. However, recent research undertaken has unearthed documents showing that it was used as a bowling green at least as far back as 1759. It has now been established that there are only nine bowling greens in Britain that are older than the one at Wrotham. As such, Wrotham bowling green represents an important piece of evidence for the way in which bowls became a popular part of English social life in the 18th century when bowling greens were often located on vacant ground next to ruined castles and palaces or run in conjunction with Inns. Uniquely, both these elements seem to be in play at Wrotham.
The stone walls of the bowling green are even older and are listed Grade II, dating back to the 13th/14th Century when the area was a walled garden and part of the estate of the adjoining Archbishops Palace. There is more in-depth historical information and archaeological reports available on the bowling green on the Wrotham Bowls Club website at www.wrothambowls.co.uk
These days Wrotham is a thriving bowls club with about 60 members, and is affiliated to both Bowls England and Kent County Bowling Association. Wrotham Bowls Club play over 50 friendly fixtures each season against local village clubs in this part of Kent, which averages out at about three per week. There are six rinks so there could be 36 players on the green during one of these fixtures. In addition, there are Kent League games for both men and ladies, together with Club, County and National competitions. The club also goes on tour each year to Eastbourne.
Wrotham Bowls Club is known for its beautiful, peaceful location, overlooking the ‘Old Palace’ and the fields beyond, and for the friendliness of its members. It is very much a part of the village. New members are always welcome, as are visitors who come to watch the bowling during summer afternoons. If you are interested in playing bowls, please contact Ken Fardell on 01732 823283 or come along on a Thursday evening after 6pm during the bowling season.Visit the website