KEEPING LORD'S WORLD CLASS
Founded in 1787, Marylebone Cricket Club is the most active and famous cricket club in the world and owner of Lord's Cricket Ground - the Home of Cricket.
© Copyright 2014
The Lord's we know today as the Home of Cricket is actually the third incarnation of Lord's Cricket Ground.
The first match ever played at 'Lord's Cricket Ground' came in 1787 when businessman Thomas Lord staged a game between Middlesex and Essex at a newly built ground in what was then known as Dorset Fields - an area of London now known as Dorset Square. A plaque commerates this.
Marylebone Cricket Club quickly became the premier Club in the country, and a year later laid down a new Code of Laws which was adopted across the game. MCC still owns the Laws of Cricket today.
The Ground proved popular - and profitable for wine-trader Lord, who made the entrance to the Ground his shop.
However, by 1809 London was expanding rapidly and rent was on the rise in Dorset Fields. Lord was looking elsewhere and that year he opened a new Ground in the Eyre Estate in St John's Wood.
For two years both grounds operated alongside each other, but by 1811 the Club had moved to the newer Ground. The second Lord's was unpopular though; lacking in atmosphere, and with a difficult landlord who objected to the opening of a tavern - a central part of watching cricket at the Ground.
There was a stroke of luck for Lord and MCC in 1812 though, when he discovered that the Regent's Canal was due to be built straight through his unloved cricket Ground.
With £4,000 in compensation, he gratefully accepted another plot of land on the Eyre Estate, slightly further up the road in St John's Wood; the current Lord's Ground.
The first match was played there in 1814, and 2014 marks the Bicentenary of the third and current Home of Cricket.
Lord's Cricket Ground: 200 years