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Handball Court

A Grade II Listed Building in Nelson, Caerphilly

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Latitude: 51.6525 / 51°39'9"N

Longitude: -3.2833 / 3°17'0"W

OS Eastings: 311312

OS Northings: 195638

OS Grid: ST113956

Mapcode National: GBR HS.74TS

Mapcode Global: VH6DD.1QLK

Plus Code: 9C3RMP38+2M

Entry Name: Handball Court

Listing Date: 21 June 1988

Last Amended: 23 February 2001

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 13574

Building Class: Recreational

Location: In the very centre of the town, facing Commercial Street and High Street, on the corner of Station Terrace.

County: Caerphilly

Community: Nelson

Community: Nelson

Built-Up Area: Nelson (Caerphilly)

Traditional County: Glamorgan

Tagged with: Handball court

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Believed to have been built c 1860, repaired and modified since. Game was introduced into the area by Irish immigrants working on the construction of the Great Western (Pontypool Road to Neath line) and Taff Vale Railways which both passed through Nelson. Game was first played against a flat wall of the Nelson Inn (now The Village Inn) but the Royal Oak PH subsequently constructed a purpose-built court to entice customers. Court is like those in Ireland with 3 sides, one of very few handball courts built on mainland Britain; another survives in Jersey Marine Neath dated 1864. The Nelson court was most famous from 1880 - 2nd World War with an annual tournament lasting from May - August, accompanied by much betting. Wire netting was first erected in 1913 after the building of nearby Police Station in 1910. Photo of 1925 shows the brick piers which were all or partly in situ when listed but are no longer there. Still in use with local and overseas teams competing.


3-sided court constructed of coursed rubble with roughly squared quoins. Sides slope up from end piers to tall end wall, all with added panels of wire mesh; cemented coping and inner face with goal markings. Tarmac ground surface with court markings.

Reasons for Listing

Included as one of only two surviving free-standing handball courts in the country.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II War Memorial
    In the town centre adjacent to The Village Inn.
  • I Llancaiach-fawr
    Close to the W community boundary which follows Nant Caeach, a short distance NE of Nelson and reached by a short track from the main road. Fronts a re-created formal garden, the surrounding walls inc
  • II Barn adjacent to Llancaiach Fawr
    Adjacent to and parallel with the main entrance track to Llancaiach Fawr. At rear backs onto Nant Caeach.
  • II Gelliargwellt Uchaf Farmhouse
    Situated amidst farmland and adjacent to a quarry, reached by a farm track from the main road.
  • II Bee-boles at Gelliargwellt Uchaf
    Set in the E garden wall of Gelliargwellt.
  • II Trelewis War Memorial
    On the W side of High Street, c50m S of the junction with Glyn Bargoed.
  • II Pen-y-waun
    Heol Fawr leads S from Nelson to the open mountain of Mynydd Eglwysilan, the track leading to the farm being about half-way along.
  • II Berthlwyd
    In a prominent location on the hill S of Quakers Yard, reached by a track W off Pentwyn Road.

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