A Curious English Bagatelle or Billiards Board Home Page   

Here is some information about this game board - a billiards board with a rounded end, as for Bagatelle   

This photo was taken June 1999, in a stone cottage on the C2C bicycle route, in the heart of the English Pennines, near Alston, Cumbria. My uncle is showing his newly-refurbished ball-game board: he calls it Bagatelle, but it looks more like a small billiard table to me. It is 18" wide and 6 feet long, folds in half and rests on a table for use.Clearly the players make shots with a billiard cue from one end only. There are markers and a baseline, but no pockets. No written instructions have been found; there is no manuacturer's name shown. The board was found in the English North country. Can anyone assist with further details? I have some information already - see below. Hugh Reekie h.reekie@ieee.org.

A good site with links describing the game and where it is played is now available.

A listing in the "newsnet" Internet communications system in March 2000, under "rec.billiards" produced a reply:

From: "Tim Ford"<TimFord.at.interact.net.au> - Canberra, Australia  Re: Portable bagatelle/billiards - Sun, 23 Apr 2000

Hi Hugh - here are the rules of Bagatelle, from an mid nineteenth century copy of Hoyle.


Bagatelle may be said to stand in the same position to billiards as draughts do to chess; but as a board is found in most families, as also in a great many houses where there is not room enough for a billiard table, we annex the following directions and rules. The games played on the bagatelle board are as follows :- L Bagatelle (or English Bagatelle), Bagatelle a la Francais (or French Bagatelle), Sans Egal, Mississipi, Trou Madame,the Cannon Game, or Bagatelle versus Billiards. A knowledge of billiards may sometimes be used to advantage in bagatelle, as the most scientific strokes are made by holing a ball of the cushion, and the high, low and following stroke may now and then be found useful. In all games the cue or mace may be used.

English Bagatelle