Trent Bridge

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The game of cricket in one form or another can trace its roots back to the 16th century in South-East England, though there is some debate to its exact invention. The game’s first confirmed mention is from January 1597, which makes the game of Cricket at least 425 years old. While Trent Bridge Cricket Ground isn’t quite that old, having had its first game played at the ground in 1838, it is still one of the most iconic stadiums in the game, and a stone’s throw from the Forest Ground – home to Nottingham Forest FC.

Photo by It’s No Game

Trent Bridge Cricket Ground borrows its name from the adjacent river crossing bridge that has given crossing to visitors to the city for hundreds of years and which, since the current iteration’s construction in 1871, remains one of the main ways to cross the river Trent for those entering Nottingham from the south.

The Construction

Trent Bridge Cricket Ground came to pass in a rather roundabout way. In the second half of the 18th century, cricket began to gain popularity as a spectator sport in Nottingham and at the time, the local teams made use of a piece of land called The Forest, which was actually the levelled ground in the middle of Nottingham’s horseracing track. In 1835, The Forest played host to the very first inter-county game of cricket which saw Nottinghamshire County play Sussex. Because it was technically public land, there was no way to sell tickets or charge spectators for admission.

This led to Trent Bridge Cricket Ground’s creation, which found the land it needed because in 1837 William Clarke, the manager of the Nottinghamshire cricket team married the landlady of an inn that stood south of the bridge over the river Trent. The inn had a meadow attached to it and this is where the ground would be built. The inn housed visiting teams and the ground began to be used in earnest as Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club’s home ground.

The Club

Although they have played as a team since about 1770, Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club was founded in 1841, shortly after the construction of Trent Bridge. They are one of the most successful county teams, having competed in first-class cricket since their formation and have taken part in the County Championship every year since its formation in 1890. The team would first win the County Championship in 1907 thanks to an incredibly strong performance with both the bat and ball. Since winning the trophy that year, they have lifted it a further 5 times since, most recently in 2010. Today, fans of the game flock to the team’s games to get a glimpse of great players of the game like Stuart Broad, arguably one of the best bowlers the team has ever seen.

On any cricket fan’s list of must-see stadiums in the world, Trent Bridge will surely feature. It’s often cited as one of the best cricket grounds in the world for spectators, and anyone who has managed to watch a game at Trent Bridge will surely testify to this.

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