Southampton - County Cricket Ground
Northlands Road : SO15 2PQ
Southampton - County Cricket Ground : Map credit National Library of Scotland Southampton - County Cricket Ground : Image credit Wiki Commons The Hampshire County Cricket Club obtained a lease on 8 acres of land in Northlands Road and the cricket club moved from the Antelope ground to Northlands Road in 1885.

The first bicycle race at the County Ground was on September 21st 1889 and was reported by the Hampshire Independent "The course, which by the way, is the first ever laid down on this ground, was put into perfect condition by continual use of the roller and mower, and measured four laps to the mile, the finish being in front of the pavilion." The five bicycle events were; 1 and 3 miles open handicap, 2 miles novices handicap and two Southampton Wanderers CC club championships, a 5 miles tricycle race and a 10 miles bicycle race. Music was provided by the South Hants Temperance Band. The press reported "the meeting proved one of the most successful of the kind ever held in the town."

On Whit Monday 1890 the Southampton Athletic and the Wanderers CC held a joint meeting with 1 and 3 miles open handicap races, 2 miles novices and a 1 mile scratch race - ‘cushion and pneumatic tyres barred'.

The Wanderers and the Southampton Ramblers CC organised races at the County Ground in the early 1890's with open meetings at Whitsun and September, but racing activity there seemed very much reduced after 1895.

Southampton FC moved from the Antelope Ground to the County ground in 1896 and left in 1898 for the Dell.

The cricket club organised a Grand Fete on August 4th Bank holiday 1902 with bicycle and running races. After this, there were some school and college bicycle races and the last races at the County Ground was the Post Office Telegraph Messengers sports on June 24th 1904 which included a 1 mile bicycle race.

Hampshire County Cricket Club played at the County Ground until 2000, when they moved to the Rose Bowl. The old ground was sold and the Marshall Square housing was built on the site.

Refs     : [p]
Photos : Wiki Commons
Maps    : National Library of Scotland