FIDCHELL Celtic board game, ERIN

2-3 weeks
(catalogue number: BGM01)

The Celtic game of Fidchell or Gwyddbwyll, which according to legend was invented by the God Lugh, and was also played by the Irish hero Cú Chulainn or King Arthur. Play this game too!

We are proud that we can provide it to you as a work of art with a deeper idea.

The game presents a clash between the invaders who decided to occupy Ireland and the defenders of this island led by the king.

Playing stones

The King - is represented by the menhir Lia Fáil, the Stone of Destiny or the Coronation Stone on Mount Tara. It is the seat of the highest kings of Ireland (Árd Rí Éireann in Irish). Celtic swords and a spiral ornament of torques are depicted on the playing stone, which emphasizes the importance of the king.

King's guardy - defenders of the island. Four-sided playing stones with a motif of torques decoration from the site of Clonmacnois, Ireland (3rd century BCE).

Raiders - round tokens with the motif of attacking ships.

  • Material: zinc with antique brass and old silver finish
  • Manufactured by Wulflund, designed by Katien


Fidchell (in Irish and pronounced [ˈfɪðʲçɛlː]) or gwyddbwyll (in Welsh), guidpoill~gwezboell (Breton), gwydhbol (Cornish) is a board game popular among the ancient Celts. Fidchell was played between two people.

In translation in means "wood-intelligence" or "wood-sense". Fidchell or gwyddbwyll is mentioned often in ancient Celtic legends. 

Origin of Fidchell could be derived from the Roman game ludus latrunculorum ("game of highwaymen").  Archaeological finds such as the Stanway from Colchester with 13 pieces per side may also represent a British Celtic board game - Fidchell.

Some rules of the gameplay can be deduced from literary mentions in early Irish literature. 

Leth a fóirni d'ór buidi, in leth aili d'findruine - "Half its pieces were of yellow gold, the other half of white bronze".

The legends describe fidchell as a game played by royalty and by Gods. In legend, it was invented by Lugh, God of light and inspiration, and was played skilfully by his son, the Irish hero Cú Chulainn

King Arthur and Owain mab Urien play the game with golden men on a silver board. 

An artefact found in Ballinderry (Ireland) in 1932, known as the Ballinderry Game Board, has been suggested to represent fidchell. It is a wooden board with Celtic symbols on it, with a 7x7 grid, marked off by 49 holes.

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