in the hole is a traditional Sussex, and in particular Lewes, pub game.
It was probably popular, or at the very least not uncommon, in other parts
of the country before the explosion in the popularity of darts in the
1970's. A television-related phenomenon that hastened the decline of many
other pub games as national past times, like shove ha'penny, skittles,
9-man morris etc etc.
In fact there are still pockets of the country where games similar to
Toad in the Hole are played. These games, often called Toad in the Hole,
usually have different tables to those in Sussex and sometimes have more
than one hole - which is clearly a no no for purists. The game has also
been seen abroad, with one recent sighting of a table near the Inca trail
in Peru where the table followed the Sussex design but the traditional
metal disc 'toads' were replaced by small flat stones. There are unsubstantiated
rumours that the game is played in Catalonia.
I'd be very interested to hear of any sightings of the game outside of
Sussex and keen to know of venues where the game can be played within
Sussex that I have missed out. I'd also be keen to see photos of any other
types of toad tables people come across - I've heard lots of reports of
old tables that actually had a large metal toad covering the hole where
the idea was to throw the brass throwing "toad" into it's mouth - seeing
one of these would be great.
Anyone interested in buying a table or toads should get in touch. We
have sold 19 tables so far and details will soon appear on this site.
There is a waiting list but it isn't long. See below for examples of our
Here are some photos of similar games... The wooden toad, green baise
version you buy online... Jeu de Grenouille (old french version) and a
cartoon of Tonspiel the Belgian version.