THE West Oxfordshire manor house where the rules of croquet were drawn up played host to taster sessions for people keen to learn the game.

Traditional sports equipment manufacturer Jaques of London and the National Trust hosted the events at Chastleton House, near Chipping Norton, on the weekend of July 5-6.

The rules of croquet were written at the house by its then owner, Walter Jones Whitmore, on April 7, 1866.

Jaques’ co-owner, Ben Jaques, whose great-grandfather John Jaques II devised croquet in 1851, was on hand to offer expert advice.

David Taylor, from nearby Moreton-in-Marsh, and his wife Pamela wanted to learn the game because they are due to move to the Northwick Park estate, near Chipping Campden, which has a croquet lawn for residents.

He said: “We thought we might as well learn a bit about the game, because there will be a croquet lawn for us to use, so we can teach friends how to play.”