The Lord’s Pavilion was designed by architect Thomas Verity and built over the winter of 1889-90 at a cost of £21,000.
Verity was one of the leading architects of the late Victorian period, renowned in particular for his theatre work, having designed among others the Royalty Theatre, Novelty Theatre and assisted with detail work on the Royal Albert Hall. In 1870 he won a competition to design the new Criterion Theatre and Restaurant at Piccadilly Circus for the hoteliers Spiers and Pond who, a few years earlier as owners of the Café de Paris in Melbourne, had sponsored the first cricket tour of Australia in 1861. In the 1880s Verity worked on the Members’ Luncheon Rooms and a new wing of the Grand Stand at Lord’s; his son and partner Frank T. Verity would go on to build the Mound Stand and the Bowlers’ extension at the side of the Pavilion.
Verity’s Pavilion is the third to stand on the site and is the oldest building at Lord’s. Its predecessors were met with mixed fates. The first Pavilion burned down in 1825 and its successor, much altered and extended over its life, was taken down in 1889 and painstakingly reassembled on an estate in Sussex where it lived out its days as a glorified garden shed.
Verity’s Pavilion is a much grander affair, a true cathedral of cricket. At its heart lies the famous Long Room, 93 feet in length, which offers a magnificent view of the playing area and through which players pass as they make their way to and from the pitch. The walk out through the Long Room from the dressing rooms on the floor above must be the most famous walk in cricket.