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Cricket, Rugby, Bowls

Dairy Lane, Sports Ground

54.840881, -1.476196

Houghton le Spring

Opened:

1834

Closed:

Open

Condition:

Home Teams/Clubs:

Last Updated:

6 Jan 2023

Houghton CC (pre 1834 - 1901), Houghton Rugby Club, Houghton Dairy Bowling Club

HER Description

NEHL - A cricket ground stood on the current Houghton Rugby Club ground from at least 1834 until 1901. This would make it one of the earliest cricket clubs in the North East, and is evidenced through contemporary newspaper reports from that year. A clipping from October 2nd 1834 details a match at the cricket ground between Houghton and Chester-le-Street, when a "very interesting game at this manly exercise is expected". This was a number of decades before ball games as a leisure sport became popularised.

The first map evidence we see of the ground was in the 1850s, when a bone mill featured in the south east end of the site. Mills like these converted bones from farm animals into agricultural fertiliser, so must have been quite a smell. In later years a small pavilion was built on the northern end of the ground, and later another slightly further south. It's unknown what buildings they may have used for facilities before this point.

Houghton CC became defunct in 1901, and was later utilised by Houghton Rugby Club as well as Houghton Dairy Bowls Club.

Ordnance Survey

Ordnance Survey, 1896

'Sketches of The Coal Mines in Northumberland and Durham' T.H.Hair, published in 1844

The site of the ground in 1947. This is longer after it was used for Cricket, and was a rugby ground by this time. Source: Historic England Archive (RAF photography) Historic England Photograph: raf_cpe_uk_2352_fs_2340 flown 04/10/1947

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'Sketches of The Coal Mines in Northumberland and Durham' T.H.Hair, published in 1844

Historic Environment Records

Durham/Northumberland: Keys to the Past

Tyne and Wear: Sitelines

HER information as described above is reproduced under the basis the resource is free of charge for education use. It is not altered unless there are grammatical errors. 

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