somerset county cricket ground

somerset county cricket ground

off West Hendford

 

In 1865, the first attempt at a Somerset county cricket side was made with the formation of Yeovil and County Cricket Club. The side, including headmaster of the Grammar School Henry Monk, performed poorly in their opening matches against other local club sides, and on one notable occasion, even lost three players to their opposition the day before the match was scheduled to begin. Nevertheless, they did play a 'county' fixture, against the Gentlemen of Devon, although the match was abandoned due to rain.

Somerset County Cricket Club was first formed in August 1875, following a cricket match at Sidmouth between the Gentlemen of Somerset and their Devon hosts, in which the visitors were successful.

Originally the idea of those who had formed the County Club was not to have a home ground, but to take their matches to different grounds around Somerset and the photograph below shows the field off West Hendford, at the time a simple track beyond Beer Street, between the allotments and the Westland factory complex, which was the Somerset County Cricket ground for five First-class matches between 1935 and 1939. Cricket had clearly been played on this field for decades since in the 1901 census West Hendford was referred to as Cricket Lane.

Johnson Park was later used as the County Ground, for twelve First-class matches played between 1951 and 1957 and two List A matches in 1969 and 1970.

Somerset have used a total of 19 'home' grounds. Other former grounds include Bath, Weston-super-Mare, Frome, Street, Glastonbury, Wells and the Imperial Tobacco Ground in south Bristol.



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This is a 1938 aerial photograph of Westland Road at centre right. At top left is the Westland complex with West Hendford - at this time only a stony track - running across the left corner. Seaton Road and Beer Street dominate the bottom centre. On the very left edge of the photograph the white buildings were a stoneworks, just below that, what appears to be a rectangular enclosure was a greyhound kennels. On the opposite side of West Hendford, facing the back of Seaton Road are allotments and the field between the allotments and the Westland factory complex was the Somerset County Cricket Ground.