UK book cover US hardback book cover


a tale of Restoration intrigue by

Molly Brown

Pall Mall

Pall Mall was almost rural. There were haystacks near St. James's square; the north side of the road was completely open. One hundred and fifty elms trees were planted, making the street a shady walk where perwigged fops and fashionable ladies in "flame-coloured taffetas" would disport themselves.

Nell Gwyn had a small house towards the eastern end of Pall by the end of 1670; soon after she moved to a larger premises at number 79.

79 Pall Mall was a three storey, stone built house with a garden adjoining the king's. They used to talk with her standing on a terrace on top of the garden wall.

Pall-mall was also the name of a game played in the street; an ancestor of croquet, the object of the game was to drive a wooden ball through an iron ring.

Other 17th century sports:

The Present State of England, by Edward Chamberlayne, 1676:

John Earle's Micro-cosmographie, 1628:

Archery and Fencing were considered essential parts of a gentleman's education. Billiards was considered "a gentle, cleanly and most ingenious game" played with a short, bent cue, raised over the shoulder. Tennis was popularized by Charles who built new courts at Whitehall; there were also courts at the Gaming House in the Haymarket.

st james whitehall strand covent garden academy bear garden start of tour home

(c) 1996 Molly Brown