White Conduit Fields
|Location||Islington, north London|
|Home club||White Conduit Club|
|Last used||soon after 1787|
White Conduit Fields in Islington was an early venue of major cricket matches and the original home of the White Conduit Club, forerunner of MCC. It was adjacent to White Conduit House, which was immediately south of the modern junction between Dewey Street and Barnsbury Road.
The earliest match known to have been played at White Conduit Fields was the controversial encounter on 1 September 1718 between London Cricket Club and the so-called Rochester Punch Club. This game provoked a legal case when the Rochester players walked off in an attempt to save their stake money, London clearly winning at the time. The case focused on the terms of the wager rather than the rules of the sport and the judge ordered the game to be played out. It was concluded in July 1719 and London won by 21 runs.
White Conduit Club
White Conduit was used for a few more years until the London cricketers began to use Kennington Common and the Artillery Ground. The venue then fell into disuse for many years until the formation of the White Conduit Club around 1780. After the WCC members, through the offices of Thomas Lord, moved to the new Lord's ground at Marylebone in 1787, White Conduit Fields was abandoned.
The venue has long since disappeared under the spread of urban development but it was long supposed to have been in the vicinity of King's Cross railway station. Some recent (2005) research has attempted to discover its whereabouts and concluded that the site was bounded by the modern streets of Cloudesley Road to the north, Barnsbury Road to the west, Tolpuddle Street to the south and probably as far as Liverpool Road to the east. The Regent's canal was cut through the land in the years after 1810 and passed almost directly under White Conduit House. (NB There exists a White Conduit Street in this area.)
- From Lads to Lord's; The History of Cricket: 1300 – 1787
- CricketArchive – matches played at White Conduit Fields
- G B Buckley, Fresh Light on 18th Century Cricket, Cotterell, 1935
- Arthur Haygarth, Scores & Biographies, Volume 1 (1744–1826), Lillywhite, 1862
- H T Waghorn, The Dawn of Cricket, Electric Press, 1906