The original Compton and Edrich stands opened in 1991 and replaced the ‘G’ and ‘H’ stands which had stood at the Nursery End since 1924.
G and H were designed by Sir Herbert Baker, architect of the second Grand Stand and the Grace Gates. Known as the ‘free seats’ they became notorious for poor sightlines from their lower tiers - the design of the upper tier left less than 2.3 metres’ headroom. Baker noted that “the back row had a view of the game as far as the bottom of the Pavilion rails.” This was true as far as it went, but any ball hit into the air would immediately disappear from view.
The new stands improved matters, somewhat. But the project ran over time and over budget, and the mood of MCC Members in the summer of 1990 wasn’t helped by the sight of workmen sunning themselves on the building site during county matches. A hoarding was erected to screen them from view. The naming of the stands was met with more success. Following the example of the Warner and Allen stands, it was decided to replace the old alphabetical designations with names honouring great Middlesex and England cricketers. What better choice for a pair of adjacent stands than two batsmen forever associated with each other, whose careers at Lord’s overlapped so neatly, and whose partnership of 370 against South Africa in the glorious summer of 1947 remains a Test record on the Ground?
The new stands, with much improved sightlines and a capacity increased by 2,600, continue to acknowledge the legacy of Denis Compton and Bill Edrich at Lord’s. Each formed of three covered tiers and together boasting two restaurants and twelve food and drink outlets, they offer a truly modern experience for cricket watching.