|Operated by||London Borough of Richmond upon Thames|
|Status||Open all year|
Richmond Green is a recreation area located near the centre of Richmond, a town of about 20,000 inhabitants situated in south west London. Owned by the Crown Estate, it is leased to the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. The Green, which has been described as "one of the most beautiful urban greens surviving anywhere in England", is essentially square in shape and its open grassland, framed with broadleaf trees, extends to roughly twelve acres. It is overlooked by a mixture of period townhouses, historic buildings and municipal and commercial establishments including the Richmond Lending Library and Richmond Theatre.
For over 400 years, Richmond Green has been edged by houses and commercial premises – built to provide accommodation for people serving or visiting Richmond Palace. In 1625 Charles I brought his court here to escape the plague in London and by the early 18th century these had become the homes of "minor nobility, diplomats, and court hangers-on".
The construction of the railway in the mid-19th century cut the Green off from Old Deer Park, and led to the building of Victorian villas for the more prosperous commuters to London. The A316 road, built in the early 20th century, worsened this separation.
Cricket on the Green
|Home club||Richmond Cricket Club c.1666– 1743); village teams associated with The Princes Head pub and The Cricketers pub (currently)|
|County club||Surrey (pre-county club)|
|Establishment||by 1666 season|
The Green was a popular venue for cricket matches during the 18th century and before. The earliest reference to cricket on Richmond Green is from an 1666 letter by Sir Robert Paston, a resident of Richmond.
Perhaps the most infamous game to be played on the Green took place the following year on 23 August when a Mr Chambers organised a major eleven-a-side game against the Duke of Richmond's team from Sussex. It is the earliest match where team scores are known: Duke of Richmond 79, Mr Chambers 119; Duke of Richmond 72, Mr Chambers 23–5 (approx.). The game ended promptly at a pre-agreed time although Mr Chambers with "four or five more to have come in" and needing "about 8 to 10 notches" clearly had the upper hand. The end result caused a fracas among the crowd at Richmond Green who were incensed by the prompt finish because the Duke of Richmond had arrived late and delayed the start of the game. The riot resulted in some of the Sussex players "having the shirts torn off their backs; and it was said a law suit would commence about the play".
Another notable game was the earliest known tied match on 22 July 1741 when Surrey played London. The scores were not reported but the tie occasioned the bets to be drawn on both sides. The teams decided to play again at the Artillery Ground the following Monday but the result is not recorded.
The first reference to a "Richmond" team playing at Richmond Green is also the last reference to its use as a major venue. This was on 4 July 1743 when Richmond & Kingston were beaten by London. The noted batsman Robert "Long Robin" Colchin, of Bromley, played for London as a given man.
The Green is presently home to two village cricket teams each affiliated to two of Richmond's pubs, The Princes Head and The Cricketers. Midweek matches are contested in the modern limited overs format of Twenty20 usually on a Tuesday or Thursdays, where surrounding village teams compete for the Len Smith Charity Shield.
Richmond Green in art
Two watercolours by Edward Walker, made in 1942, showing nos 10, 11 and 12 Richmond Green and the south side of the Green, are in the Recording Britain collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
• 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.
- Historic England. "Drinking fountain at south corner of the Green (1065308)". National Heritage List for England.
- "The Green, Little Green and Old Palace Yard, Richmond upon Thames" (pdf). Kim Wilkie Associates. June 2001.
- Cherry, Bridget and Pevsner, Nikolaus (1983). The Buildings of England – London 2: South. London: Penguin Books. p. 521. ISBN 0 14 0710 47 7.
- Local History Notes – Richmond Green Richmond Libraries’ Local Studies Collection
- Leach, John (2007). "From Lads to Lord's – Richmond Green". The History of Cricket: 1601–1700. Stumpsite. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
- Waghorn, H. T. (1899). Cricket Scores, Notes, &c. From 1730–1773. Edinburgh & London: William Blackwood & Sons.
- Buckley, G. B., Fresh Light on 18th Century Cricket, Birmingham: Cotterell & Co, 1935
- Ashley-Cooper, F. S., "At the Sign of the Wicket: Cricket 1742–1751", Cricket Magazine, 1900
- "Nos 10, 11 & 12 Richmond Green, Surrey; Recording Britain". Search the collections. Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
- "South Side of the Green, Richmond; Recording Britain". Search the collection. Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
- Waghorn, H. T. (1906). The Dawn of Cricket. London: Electric Press.
- Ashley-Cooper, F. S. (1900). At the Sign of the Wicket: Cricket 1742–1751. London: Cricket Magazine.
- Buckley, G. B. (1935). Fresh Light on 18th Century Cricket. Birmingham: Cotterell & Co.