A cockstele was a heavy wooden stick, weighted at one end with lead, which was thrown at a rooster tied to a stake or buried in the earth up to its neck as part of a medieval blood sport known as "cock throwing." The purpose of the game was to kill the cock with the fewest throws.

Cock throwing was extremely popular in medieval England, and was particularly associated with the festival of Shrovetide. Cocksteles were noted on lists of the sporting equipment possessed by Oxford University in the 1500s, and when Sir Thomas More had a painting of "boyhood" made, the boy was shown surrounded by four representative toys: a top, a quoit, a ball, and a cockstele.

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