Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Across the Board

The New Walk Museum and Art Gallery in Leicester has been the home, in the first part of this year, of a remarkable exhibition.

“Across the Board” was an exhibition about board games.

It included an amazing number of chess sets, with the pieces made in various different styles.

Among the chess sets were the famous Lewis chess men, found buried by an illiterate crofter on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland. He ran home terrified, as he thought they were gnomes who would cast evil spells on him. But his wife had a better idea of their worth, and made him go back and dig them all up.

Some of the board games, like ludo and snakes and ladders, originated in India centuries ago. Snakes and ladders was used to teach morality.

Other games included are Monopoly, which was invented by an American housewife and bought from her by the now famous marketing man Clarence Darrow.

“Across the Board” was set up in conjunction with the British Museum in London.