About Chess Vale Bowls Club

Chess Vale Bowls Club is located in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty just off Asheridge road in Chesham. With the trees of Captains Wood to one side and the rolling fields of the nearby Portobello Farm, this site is one of the county’s prettiest locations in which to play bowls. The artificial green provides bowling facilities all year round and Chess Vale was chosen by both the English  and Jersey National teams as a training location for the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Chess Vale has also hosted the Channel 4 program-That Paralympic Show in 2013 –when 2 gold medal Para-Olympians took on 2 able bodies under 25 English Internationals at the sport of Boccia in a sporting challenge. See video of program below. The club offers members a wide range of friendly and competitive fixtures throughout the summer season and coaching and training programs are available to new members just starting in the sport of Lawn Bowls. The club also offers a wide range of social activities throughout the year.


Chess Vale Bowls Club was founded in 1931 and occupied a site in the centre of Chesham just below the station. The original site was 4 rinks and its ground stretched down to the back of the buildings on the High Street. In 1969 Bucks Highways compulsory purchased some 30% of the ground to construct a relief road, East Street, serving the High Street shops.

The remainder of the site was remodeled into a 3 rink green. However as traffic increased, the green which was some 12 feet above the road, started to suffer from severe subsidence issues. Just before the green was closed in 2000, there was a 9 inch drop from corner to corner.

The new Chess Vale club was constructed during 2004 and officially opened by Geoffrey Palmer OBE in May 2005. The all weather surface, MasterGreen™ was chosen by the club after extensive research and visits to other clubs. The concrete base was upgraded in 2006 after a survey showed that the surface was not as true as it should have been.

The entire concrete base was covered with a layer of a special hard-setting non porous tarmac related material and levelled to an accuracy of ±3mm. According to sources this green is now one of the flattest and truest bowling surfaces in the country. With an average green speed of 14 seconds, the surface offers the accuracies of an indoor surface coupled with the pace of a good quality grass green.