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[a] matches and the original home of the White Conduit Club, forerunner of Marylebone Cricket Club (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 (WCC) around 1780. After the WCC members, through the offices of Thomas Lord, moved to the then new Lord's Old 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. There exists a White Conduit Street in this area.
• a)^ The term "major cricket" deserves some qualification. It is not limited to "first-class cricket" which is a misleading concept that is essentially statistical and may typically ignore the more important historical aspect of a match if statistical information is missing, as is invariably the case re matches played prior to 1772. From that season, scorecards began to be created habitually and there is a continuous and adequate, though incomplete, statistical record commencing in 1772. Major cricket in the Stuart and Hanoverian periods includes both single wicket and eleven-a-side games. Features of these matches include high stakes, large crowds and evidence that the teams are representative of several parishes, perhaps of whole counties. Except in rare instances, village cricket in the shape of a match played between two parish teams, would be classified as minor.
- Waghorn, p. 5.
- Bryant, John (2005). "Where was the White Conduit?". CricketArchive. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
- Buckley, G. B. (1935). Fresh Light on 18th Century Cricket. Cotterell.
- Haygarth, Arthur (1862). Scores & Biographies, Volume 1 (1744–1826). Lillywhite.
- Waghorn, H. T. (1906). The Dawn of Cricket. Electric Press.
- Leach, John (2007). "From Lads to Lord's – White Conduit Club". Stumpsite.
- "Matches played on White Conduit Fields". CricketArchive.