Lamb's Conduit Field

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Lamb's Conduit Field was an open area of Holborn, London, that was used for major cricket matches in the first half of the 18th century.

Location[edit]

Its location was partly that now called Coram's Fields in the London Borough of Camden. Coram's Field is situated on the former site of the Foundling Hospital, established by Thomas Coram in what was then named Lamb's Conduit Field in 1739.[1] It is not to be confused with White Conduit Fields, in Islington, which was another venue of 18th century cricket.[2] It is believed that Lamb's Conduit Field ceased to be a cricket venue when construction of the Foundling Hospital was approved in or before 1739.[2]

First-class cricket venue[edit]

Lamb's Conduit Field
Location Holborn, London
Home club London Cricket Club
County club Middlesex (pre-county club)
Establishment by 1707 season
Last used 1736 English cricket season

Lamb's Conduit Field is known to have been used for first-class cricket matches on 4 occasions between 1707 and 1736; and for one minor match.[3] It is probable that records of many matches from the period have been lost and so its usage could have been considerably greater.[2]

The first match known to have been played there was on Thursday 26 June 1707 when London met Mitcham Cricket Club.[4] The result and other details are unknown. This match was unknown until 2009 when a record of it was discovered in an archive and reported to CricketArchive. It is the earliest known match in Middlesex and the earliest definitely known fixture in London.[5]

London v Mitcham is also probably the earliest mention of the original London Cricket Club. Teams called London played several matches in the first quarter of the 18th century but there is no actual mention of a "London Club" until 1722. It is not known when the club, as distinct from a London team, was founded.[5]

A second match took place a week later on Thursday 3 July 1707 when London played a return match against Croydon Cricket Club.[6] Again, the result and other details are unknown. There was confusion about the date of this match as Waghorn recorded that it took place "on the Tuesday (sic) following, being the 3rd of July" (the previous match in Croydon having been definitely recorded on Tuesday 1 July). From Lads to Lord's corrected this ambiguity in favour of the date (i.e., Thursday 3 July) and its advice was followed by CricketArchive.[4][5]

There is a gap of over twenty years before the venue recurs in the cricket records. It was used in 1731 for a minor match which London played against an Enfield team and was then used twice in 1736 for London v Surrey and Middlesex v Surrey.[4] By this time, the London club was using the Artillery Ground as its primary venue and the construction of the Foundling Hospital probably ended its interest in Lamb's Conduit Field.[2]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°31′26″N 0°7′11″W / 51.52389°N 0.11972°W / 51.52389; -0.11972