Photo:Meadows Cricket Ground 1884

Meadows Cricket Ground 1884

Malcolm Fox

On the Meadows in August 1791 the Nottingham cricket team played the gentlemen of the Marylebone Club. It was claimed that 10,000 spectators watched the game – but this seems an unlikely estimate. Even so, the importance of the Meadows to the game of cricket is undeniable. 

The Nottinghamshire club found its present home at Trent Bridge in the early 19th century, but cricket was still played on the Meadows. A sketch from around 1850 shows a match in progress on open ground between Station Street and the Nottingham Canal.

Meadows Cricket Ground

In 1861 the Meadows Cricket Ground was established at the junction of Queen’s Walk and Kirkwhite Street. Notts Harrington CC played here from 1865, and by 1932 seven clubs used the ground. Club cricket ceased there in 1939 but the green open space survives. Further down Queens Walk towards the Toll Bridge, Notts Castle CC had a ground bordered by Glapton Road. This disappeared with the construction of the Great Central Railway in 1898. 

Cricket on the Embankment

The Victoria Embankment Playing Fields opened in 1901 and boasted twelve cricket pitches. One of the pitches was sited next to the paddling pool, in a railed area known locally as the Bull Ring. The other pitches were sited between the magnificent pavilion and the river embankment. These cricket fields were flat and perfect – mainly because football was confined to the Wilford Grove side of the pavilion. In 1951 seventeen cricket clubs used the ground, including local sides with obvious Meadows connections such as Blackburns, Bridgway Hall, Radcliffe Street Methodists and Turney Brothers. In the early sixties pitches were laid out for schools use on the raised fields between the memorial gardens and the Grove, but these were soon turned over to hockey and then football. 

Sadly no organised cricket is played now on the “Bank”, though local families continue to enjoy their own informal “Test Matches” at the weekend.

Do you have memories of cricket down the Meadows?

This page was added by Sarah Malina on 24/03/2011.

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