Where’s London’s oldest….(continuously used) cricket green?

Mitcham Green. PICTURE: Google Maps

While Lord’s and The Oval may be more famous, the honour of being London’s oldest (still-in-use) cricket ground goes to a rather less-well-known ground in Mitcham, south London.

Once located in Surrey but now part of greater London, Mitcham Green has been the home of the Mitcham Cricket Club since 1685 (cricket was reportedly being played earlier elsewhere in London but the grounds haven’t survived).

There are reports that Lord Nelson was among those who came to watch a game here (he lived nearby) and in the 19th century, Mitcham Cricket Ground was used as a practise wicket by the visiting Australian team (the team would apparently stay at the aptly named pub The Cricketers, which formerly overlooked the green).

The ground is rather unusual for the fact that the club’s pavilion, which was built in 1904, lie on the other side of a road (the A323).

In July, 2002, the ground hosted a game between Mitcham and Hambledon, a Hampshire village which boasts a team founded about 100 years after Mitcham. Known as the Golden Jubilee Challenge Match, it was played in honour of the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II and resulted in a draw.

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