James O Jenkins

Pêl-law

In the nineteenth century handball (‘Pel-Law’) was a popular sport in Wales. Similar to squash, but played with the open hand, games were played in the yards of pubs in front of spectators. At Nelson (circa 1860), near Ystrad Mynach, the landlord of the Royal Oak built a bigger court to poach the lucrative handball trade away from his rival landlord at the nearby Nelson Inn. The court is the last surviving handball court in Wales.