Local History

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Oval cricket ground

The Oval cricket ground is home to the Surrey County Cricket Club.  The shape of this piece of land, which lends its name to the neighbourhood, was in existence sometime before it took up its current use.  The earliest known mention of this oval shape dates back to 1776 at which time it was owned by the Clayton family. There was a creek river nearby and, on 18 May 1818, the Times reported that a man had drowned near the Kennington Oval.  The grounds were known to have been used as a nursery/vegetable patch but eventually fell into disuse.   In 1845 turfs from Tooting Common were used to lay the first cricket ground but the land had been used for cricket before that time.  Surrey County Cricket Club dates from this time

The grounds were also used for other sports.  In 1872 the Oval was the headquarters for London football.  The first FA cup final was held there as was the first England Scotland international. The first UK test match was held at the Oval in 1880.

The Oval was commandeered in 1939 for anti- aircraft guns. It was converted to a prisoner of war camp but was never used.  In 1946 the ground was again re-opened.

Brit Oval Brit Oval- entrance Brit Oval- trompe l'oeil