The Oval

Team: Surrey

Established: 1845

Seating capacity: 18,500

Ends names: Pavilion End, Vauxhall End


The Kennington area has a long history with cricket, the first reference being in 1730 when Surrey and Middlesex played on Kennington Common, now Kennington Park.

In 1835 a ten acre plot of land called the 'Oval' was leased to the Otter family to be used as a market garden. Ten years later a new sub-lease was agreed which allowed the land to be converted into a cricket ground, and later in 1845 the Surrey County Cricket Club was formed. The first county match was played in 1846 against the MCC.

1880 saw the first Test Match in England against Australia played at The Oval and two years later when Australia beat England at the Oval by 7 runs, The Times printed its famous 'obituary' which led to the creation of The Ashes series.

In 1934 Jack Hobbs retired as the leading batsman in the world and the 'Jack Hobbs Gates' opened at the Oval.

During World War II The Oval was requisitioned by the Government and turned into an internment camp (never used) and later into a searchlight site for the defence of London from air attacks. After the war The Oval was handed back to the Club and the playing area completely re-laid with turf from the Gravesend marshes in Kent.

Post-war major developments have included the redevelopment of the ground in 1989, the opening of the OCS Stand in 2005 and installation of a new drainage system and permanent floodlights in 2009.

County Cricket News October 2009


Kennington Oval, Kennington, London SE11 5SS

Source(s): CricketArchive, Surrey CCC