Sports and Pastimes
Cricket, swimming and field sports have always been popular
Cricket was probably the earliest organised sport here in the 19th century. Even before this, particular matches had been played locally. The Twickenham Cricket Club was formed in 1833, playing early matches in a field off the Hampton Road before moving to Twickenham Green. A number of local clubs obtained grounds in Bushy Park from 1863 onwards. In 1878 the visiting Australian XI played a two day cricket match against an Orleans XI at Orleans House.
Swimming Baths, usually open air, were also established as places of recreation. The first Twickenham Swimming Baths were at the Mereway, next to the Crane River, and in 1935 the pool opened on The Embankment. In Teddington the Vicarage Road pool opened in 1931 and the pool at Hampton opened in 1922.
Recreation grounds were developed in the 20th century. In the previous century sports, fêtes and other events had often been held in the grounds of the “big houses”. Over time, as these properties were sold off for housing development, their gardens were no longer available and purpose-made recreation grounds appeared.