A brief early history of Lord’s – the most famous cricket ground of them all

In just a few days time, the most hotly-contested, and easily the most famous cricket competition gets underway. That’s right – the Ashes Tour 2015.

Australia will head halfway around the world to defend the tiny urn that they won so convincingly on home soil at the last time of asking. For those preparing to follow the Baggy Green to the Sceptred Isle with Motive Travel, we hope that you’re fully prepared for the trip of a lifetime – and just to get you in the mood, here’s a brief early history of one of the venues you’ll be visiting – the legendary Lord’s…

Constructed by entrepreneur Thomas Lord, who was a fine bowler to boot, the current ground in St John’s Wood, London, has less than grand beginnings – it used to be a duck pond! Built as an exclusive venue in which the elite could play cricket, Lord’s, which took its name from the man behind it, first opened in 1814, where it has remained ‘the home of cricket’ ever since.

Lord’s quickly became the most popular cricket ground in the country, surpassing even the likes of the nearby Oval. Elite schools, such as Eton and Harrow, began to use the ground as venue for matches between the two establishments, with crowds turning up in their thousands – a bona-fide cricket ground can accommodate far more than a school field!

In 1825, disaster struck – the Pavilion End of the ground caught aflame, destroying scorecards and burning trophies to mere cinders, but it was quickly repaired and reopened in time for the following summer.

Just think how beautifully lush and manicured today’s modern cricket pitches look – there’s not a blade out of place. Things were different at Lord’s during the mid-19th century – the surface’s pre-match treatment involved letting a herd of sheep loose to keep things trim!

With Motive Travel, you’ll enjoy a tour of this historic venue – think of all the legends that have bowled a thumper or hit one for six over the years!

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