What You Don’t Know About Lord’s

July 14, 2009

Although little remarked upon in the SkyBox or even on TMS, the Lord’s Cricket Ground was historically something of a trailblazer in sustainable ground management, and in a climate change conscious future it might wish to return to its roots, so to speak.

As the wonderfully named Sir Spencer Ponsonby-Fane writes (and is excerpted in the equally wonderful collection of E.V. Lucas’ cricket writings entitled Cricket all His Life), the mid ninetheenth century Lord’s was ingeniously maintained:

On the upper north-east corner was a large sheep pen. In the centre of the ground, opposite the Pavilion, was a square patch of grass which ws kept constantly rolled and taken care of. No scythe was allowed to touch it, and mowing machines were not then invented.

…it was usually kept down by a flock of sheep, which was penned up on match days, and on Saturdays four or five hundred sheep were driven on the ground on their way to Monday Smithfield Market. It was marvellous to see how they cleared the herbage…

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