Our History

The 36 acre park was opened in 1902 on land that was formerly part of Ashcombe Manor in Somerset. It’s a natural park, with shrubs and tree lined paths rather than the more formal gardens of other parks. The Club was formed in 1911, with the inaugural game held on 8th June that year.

One of the earliest photographs shows the Club grounds before the construction of the second green. The gate separated the bowls area from the rest of the park. The hut was later moved towards the corner of the green where our Clubhouse now stands.

The Pavilion, believed to have been relocated from the seafront, was the only shelter in those days and still exists forming the frontage to our changing rooms. Note the avenue of saplings to the left of the photograph which today are mature trees. The dress code seems to be a bit relaxed.

To begin with it was only men bowlers but several years later the Ashcombe Ladies Bowling Club was formed, with the Ladies first taking to the green in May 1927.

In 2005 the Ladies’ and Men’s clubs were merged to form the fully integrated Club we have today.

Our second green, constructed above the first green, was officially opened on June 15th 1935. The retaining rockery can be clearly seen in this photograph. Today, our greens are known as “bottom” and “top” a reference to their relative heights.

Our President Averill Goacher is currently undertaking a project to create a full archive of all the Club’s images. One day we hope to put this online.

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