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Which Teams Played in the First Cricket Match at Lord's?

The Pavilion at Lord's Cricket Ground
St John's Wood Road, London NW8 8QN

Listed: 1982
Grade: II*
NHLE entry: Listing details for the Pavilion at Lord's

Lord's Cricket Pavilion

Lord's Cricket Ground is famous the world over as 'the home of cricket'.  Two hundred years ago, on 22 June 1814, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and Hertfordshire played the very first match at the present ground.

The information on the score card of that iconic 1814 match can be found on the Cricket Archive website. This shows that Hertfordshire did not have the most successful game. They amassed only 79 runs in their first innings, thanks mainly to their opening batsman Bentley, who contributed 33 runs.

Evidently Bentley also bowled, and he took two MCC wickets. However, helped by 55 runs from their opening batsman A W Schabner, the MCC scored 161 before bowling Hertfordshire out for 55 in their second innings.  The MCC won by an innings and 106 runs.

Pink terracotta pavilion

Presiding over Lord's Cricket Ground today is the pink terracotta pavilion, constructed in 1889-90 to the designs of Thomas and Frank Verity. It is interesting not only for its architecture but because of its historic association with the development of cricket as we now know it.

The ground at London's St John's Wood is not the first but the third to be named 'Lord's'. The name comes from Thomas Lord, a professional cricketer who was employed in the latter part of the 18th century by a team called the White Conduit Club.

Encouraged by now legendary cricketers like Lord Winchilsea and Charles Lennox, the Duke of Richmond, Thomas Lord opened a cricket ground in 1787 in what is now Dorset Square, London.

The White Conduit Club became the Marylebone Cricket Club and, the following year, issued the first codified laws of cricket. A move to another ground in 1809 proved unpopular, but the construction of the Regent's Canal forced a move to the present much-loved site at St John's Wood in 1814.

Special architectural significance

The iconic pavilion was listed in 1982 at Grade ll*, with the Long Room being highlighted in the List entry as of special architectural significance. The building consists of a long, two-storey centre section, with raked, covered seating above, between two end pavilions capped with pyramidal roofs and ornate lanterns made of wrought- and cast-iron.

Lord's Cricket Ground is thoroughly protected by national designation. Also listed are the memorial gates, designed by Herbert Baker in 1923 and dedicated to the memory of famous cricketer W G Grace, and a Portland stone relief sculpture of sportsmen and women designed by Gilbert Bayes in 1934.

The historic significance of the ground, alongside many other listed sporting buildings and venues in London, are celebrated in 'Played in London' by Simon Inglis. Go to the Played in Britain website for more information.

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