Traditional Board Games

Fidchell: Ancient Celtic Irish Boardgame of Escape & Capture; Handcrafted Wooden Traditional Game, Fidhcheall; Customizable - MADE TO ORDER


  • Details
    Fidchell was an ancient Celtic board game, deeply rooted in the history of the Irish and Welsh alike. Handcrafted from fine hardwood, with traditional Celtic/Gael-themed knotwork burned into the surface of the board, this Fidchell board game is a captivating way to learn tactics and strategy. The circular version of the game is a more modern realization of the original, based upon our knowledge of Celtic symbolism, mythology, and even the ancient Celtic calendar. The game itself is intensely challenging despite it's simple premise, and has a high potential of repeated and variable play. Each Fidchell game board is created as a functional piece of art with heirloom potential, built to last for generations - a splendid way to spend quality time with a friend or family member. No two boards are ever created exactly the same.

    This is a MADE-TO-ORDER item, with a processing time of 3 weeks typically. Your board will be made to your specifications and/or custom requests. Pictures shown represent past completed orders, and are intended as examples only.

    *Charts for ARTWORK SELECTION and WOOD / EDGE TYPE are located in the photos. Artwork, wood, and edge types are not restricted to those offered for any particular "MADE-TO-ORDER" item. Artwork options vary from item to item within the IGNITED shop, and are interchangeable in most cases; please message me with your specific request(s). Customer-supplied artwork is always welcomed! An online library of high resolution artwork selection charts for this listing as well as others in the shop can be found here:

    **A note about ARTWORK SELECTION: Due to the layout of the game board, artwork is confined mainly to the four corners. Customers have the option of either selecting 1 corner design for all 4 corners of the board, or pairing 2 designs, which would be arranged diagonally opposite of one another. There are some obvious restrictions to this option based upon style and in some cases the designs themselves. Please use the selection chart and the ARTWORK SELECTION drop-down as guides for choosing pairings.
    Please don't hesitate to contact me should you have any questions!

    • Fidchell board constructed of 3/4" thick hardwood (either Cherry, Maple, or Oak); handcrafted and decorated with your choice of art and edge style. Only the finest selection of hardwood is used for a beautiful and enduring board that will last for generations. Wood color is attained by the character of the wood itself after applying a natural oil; no pigmented stains are used.
    • All artwork and grid lines are achieved through pyrography (the art of wood-burning by hand). Divots are drilled at precise intersections of the grid with a 1/2-inch forstner bit. These depressions are then inlaid with a natural wood veneer in complement to the general board design and hue. A satin lacquer is applied last to protect the board surface and seal in the carbonized artwork details.
    • Artwork available varies from historical to more modern, historically-inspired designs. Custom art requests and submissions are always welcome!
    • Board has a circular playing area of 14-inches in diameter, with artwork in each corner. Total board size is 15-inches square.
    • Playing pieces (55 total) are included. Made in the U.S. by a local woodworking supply shop, then stained and finished by me in complement to the board. A drawstring bag is included for storage of the pieces.
    • Further customization can be done by specific request or by offered upgrades.

    • Fidchell (Irish; also spelled fidhcheall, fidceall, fitchneal, fithchill), or Gwyddbwyll (in Welsh) was an ancient Celtic board game. The name in both Irish and Welsh is a compound translating to "wood sense"; the fact that the compound is identical in both languages demonstrates that the name is of extreme antiquity. Fidchell or Gwyddbwyll is mentioned often in ancient Celtic legends and lore, but the exact form of the game is open to speculation, due to lack of detail on the rules, playing pieces, and the board. What is clear is that it was played on a board, with opposing sets of pieces in equal numbers. It should not be confused with other games from the period, like Tawlbwrdd or Tafl (also called Hnefatafl). The legends describe Fidchell as a game played by royalty and by the gods. In legend, it was invented by Lugh, god of light and inspiration, and was played most skillfully by his son, the hero Cú Chulainn. A series of Fidchell games forms an important episode in Tochmarc Étaíne, a trio of ancient Irish sagas.
    This version of the game is a contemporary envisioning of what the game could have been in ancient times (no archaeological evidence of any true board has ever been discovered, though there is debate involving extant tafl-like boards which through the years have perhaps been wrongfully named "Fidchell").
    • The King (or Navel Stone as it is also known - the one larger than the rest) is first placed in the center of the board, where it remains for the majority of the game. It is 'dead' at the start and can be ignored until players start moving their pieces on the board. Each player starts with 27 'stones' or 'men'; either White or the loser of the previous game goes first, players taking turns to place one stone at a time into vacant spaces. An enemy piece is captured by trapping it between two opponents. That is, by making a pair immediately next to, and on opposite sides of a single stone, as indicated by the lines on the board. Capturing an enemy's piece grants another turn; this can be repeated any number of times. Capturing more than one piece in one move, however, only grants one more turn. Captured stones go out of play until the game's end. When there are no more stones to place down, those on the board become free to move along any one line until they meet an obstruction, and capture still entitles another move. At this point, when either player starts to move their pieces, the King stone becomes alive to both of them as a friendly piece, and can be used to capture opposing men. The object for both sides is to create a continuous but not necessarily straight line of their own stones linking the center of the board to the outermost circle. The first to succeed is the winner.
    • A rules pamphlet for each variant of play represented on the board is included with the board and pieces.


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  • Shipping & Policies

    Shipping from United States

    Processing time

    3-4 weeks

    Estimated shipping times

    • North America : 3 - 5 business days

    I'll do my best to meet these shipping estimates, but can't guarantee them. Actual delivery time will depend on the shipping method you choose.

    Customs and import taxes

    Buyers are responsible for any customs and import taxes that may apply. I'm not responsible for delays due to customs.

    Payment Options

    Secure options
    • Accepts Etsy gift cards

    Returns & Exchanges

    I gladly accept returns and exchanges

    Just contact me within: 7 days of delivery

    Ship items back to me within: 14 days of delivery

    I don't accept cancellations

    But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.

    The following items can't be returned or exchanged

    Because of the nature of these items, unless they arrive damaged or defective, I can't accept returns for:

    • Custom or personalized orders
    • Perishable products (like food or flowers)
    • Digital downloads
    • Intimate items (for health/hygiene reasons)
    • Items on sale

    Conditions of return

    Buyers are responsible for return shipping costs. If the item is not returned in its original condition, the buyer is responsible for any loss in value.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Wholesale availability

    Due to the nature of the majority of my work, and the typical amount of business that comes through my shop, wholesale items are not available.

    Custom and personalized orders

    Please contact me before placing an order should you desire customizations not outlined or offered in any particular listing.

    Holiday ordering

    During the Christmas holiday season, I can quickly become VERY busy; typically putting in 12 hour days in order to make holiday shipping deadlines.
    Please plan ahead - I begin taking Christmas orders in late August, but due to workload, I will close the shop to further made-to-order requests the first week of December. Ready to ship items remain listed and ship as stated in their listing.

    Shipping times

    In the case of any custom or Made To Order item, I try very hard to meet the listed production/ship time for the listed item. However, I am a one-man shop, and the handcrafted nature of the work, particularly during busy periods, can cause delays. If you require your item by a specific date, please inquire first. I do not rush the work, as I want each piece to be exceptional and worthy to the person purchasing it. Thank you for your patience and understanding, and of course, your patronage!