A cricket match underway at the Oval, Kennington. Built on Duchy of Cornwall land the distinctive oval shape was created c.1789 when a new road was laid out on land held by nurserymen William Malcolm and James and George Mitchelson. In 1790 it was leased to the Mitchelsons as a market garden and later various housing plans were rejected by the Duchy. In 1845 Mr Houghton of Brixton Hill proposed a 'Subscription Cricket Ground' and was accepted as the leasee for the Montpellier Club, playing the first game in March of that year, after 10,000 turves from Tooting Common had been laid. The Surrey Club, founded in the Horn Tavern 4 months earlier, initially shared the ground before becoming the leaseholder. This picture shows the old market garden buildings in use as the pavilion and public house - the small right-hand building was replaced in 1858.
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