Posted on Monday, May 20, 2019
With the cricket season in full swing, world-famous Lords cricket ground, St John’s Wood is an attraction like no other.
Lords is home to Middlesex County Cricket Club (CCC) and Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). This summer it will be a host venue for the Cricket World Cup, which is taking place across England and Wales for the first time since 1999.
Read on for the story of this historic ground.
Often called the ‘home of cricket’, Lords’ history dates back to 1787 when Thomas Lord opened his first cricket ground on Dorset Fields - where Dorset Square in Marylebone stands today. Lord moved the ground to Lisson Grove, before ultimately settling on its current location in 1814.
Lords’ first test match, between England and a touring side from Australia, was played in 1884. The match saw the hosts win by an innings and five runs. The ground has hosted 137 test matches since then.
The first ever test match between England and Ireland will be played this year, from 24th to 27th July 2019. And rekindling an old rivalry, Australia will defend the Ashes Urn against England in August.
The famous cricket ground’s pavilion has gone through many changes over the years. Designed by Thomas Verity, the pavilion was built in 1890. It still stands today and is used by members of the MCC and Middlesex CCC on match days.
The pavilion contains the dressing rooms, both with balconies so players and staff can watch the match. The dressing rooms also hold the Lords honours boards, which commemorate cricket players who have scored a century; taken five wickets in a single innings or taken 10 wickets in an entire match. The England honours board is located in the England dressing room, while the board commemorating other nationalities is in the away dressing room.
Also in the pavilion is the Long Room. Described as ‘the most evocative four walls in world cricket’, it contains portraits of famous cricketers dating back to the 18th century – from WG Grace to Shane Warne.
The MCC Museum is the world’s oldest sporting museum and is home to memorabilia from across the globe, including the Ashes Urn. The museum is open throughout the year and is part of the Lords tour - a must for any cricket fan.
With the Cricket World Cup arriving this summer, Lords’ future is an exciting one. Lords will host five big matches including Pakistan v South Africa and England v Australia as well as the Cricket World Cup Final on Sunday 14th July.
In addition, Middlesex CCC will continue to play their Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Royal London One-Day Cup and Vitality T20 Blast matches at Lords. Lords is also due to be a host ground for proposed competition ‘The Hundred’, due to begin in 2020.
The future of Lords includes a masterplan to redevelop the stadium with improved spectator facilities, which will ensure it remains a premier venue for cricket.
The redevelopment has begun with the Warner Stand, where capacity has been increased to 2,656 seats in a two-tiered stand. The Compton and Edrich stands will also receive an extra 2,000 seats, as well as improved accessibility for wheelchair users. The development will continue into 2026 when the areas around the East Gate Building and the Nursery Ground will also be improved.