Lord’s Cricket Ground is the venue of the Season featured on our website – you can watch their video here Did you know ….
- The Lord’s we know today as the Home of Cricket is actually the third incarnation of Lord’s Cricket Ground ? The first match ever played at ‘Lord’s Cricket Ground’ came in 1787 when businessman Thomas Lord staged a game between Middlesex and Essex at a newly built ground in what was then known as Dorset Fields. By 1809 London was expanding rapidly and rent was on the rise in Dorset Fields so Thomas Lord was looking elsewhere and that year he opened a new Ground in the Eyre Estate in St John’s Wood.
- For two years both grounds operated alongside each other, but by 1811 the Club had moved to the newer Ground. The second Lord’s was unpopular though; lacking in atmosphere, and with a difficult landlord who objected to the opening of a tavern – a central part of watching cricket at the Ground.
- There was a stroke of luck for Lord and MCC in 1812 though, when he discovered that the Regent’s Canal was due to be built straight through his unloved cricket Ground. With £4,000 in compensation, he gratefully accepted another plot of land on the Eyre Estate, slightly further up the road in St John’s Wood. The first match was played there in 1814, and 2014 marks the Bicentenary of the third and current Home of Cricket. One of the meeting rooms at the ground is named the Thomas Lord Suite in commemoration.
- The Museum at Lords most famous exhibit is the original Ashes urn, a personal gift to England captain the Hon. Ivo Bligh in 1882/83, later donated to MCC by his widow in 1928. This tiny and fragile object, cricket’s most precious artefact, rarely leaves Lord’s, when it last did so, for the 2006/07 MCC Travelex Ashes Exhibition in Australia more than 100,000 people came to see it.
- The term ‘Ashes’ was first used after England lost to Australia – for the first time on home soil – at The Oval on 29th August 1882.
- A day later, the Sporting Times carried a mock obituary of English cricket which concluded that: “The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia”. The concept caught the imagination of the sporting public. A few weeks later, an English team, captained by the Hon Ivo Bligh [later Lord Darnley], set off to tour Australia, with Bligh vowing to return with “the ashes”; his Australian counterpart, WL Murdoch, similarly vowed to defend them.