Icons of England
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814 of 1160 nominations



Is this an icon?



Perhaps even more than cricket on the village green, croquet is regarded as the essence of olde English sport. In that most English of novels, Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited (1946), young Sebastian Flyte injures his foot while playing croquet on the lush lawns at Castle Brideshead.

This quaint game, with its mallets and hoops and elegantly sedate pace, is, like bowls, often associated with an older, more aristocratic generation. In fact, Britain’s top croquet players come mostly from the 20-35 age group. Over 120 clubs are registered with the UK Croquet Association.

There are actually two kinds of croquet: Association and Golf. Association is the full version of the sport played by the majority of UK players. In Association croquet, each player aims to be the first to score 12 hoop points and a peg point off each ball. Golf Croquet is similar to match-play golf, with each side playing alternate strokes to score a set number of points.


Your comments

The quintessential gentle English relaxation. And an absorbing competitive sport that the English invented (or at least codified) and at which the Brits are still supreme.

Alex Jardine

I like to play croquet with my employees....it helps me run the country better in Tony's absence.
J Prescott

This certainly is an icon of England and cannot be termed as "quaint". It is a competive and compelling game. Our family can't wait for those summer days when we set out the lawn for games of croquet. I've introduced many friends and colleagues of varying nationalities who've become hooked in the space of an evening. Anyone whose has never played buy yourself a croquet set and you'll soon see. Enjoy.
Mark Walker

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My nomination is the garden shed.