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Cricket, Tennis

Shotley Bridge, Spa Grounds

54.876394, -1.859331

Shotley Bridge

Opened:

1881

Closed:

Open

Condition:

Home Teams/Clubs:

Last Updated:

25 Jul 2023

Shotley Bridge CC (1888 -), Shotley Bridge Tennis Club

HER Description

NEHL - Shotley Bridge CC have played at the Spa Ground since 1888, though cricket is recorded being played here from at least 1878 when a grand fete was held which consisted of dancing, saloon shotting, cricket, football, and music by the Benfieldside Brass Band. Another example comes from 1881, when an exhibition match was played between St Stephens of Newcastle and Shotley Bridge with 3000 persons in attendance. This was followed by a match between the Shotley Bridge Bicycle and Cricket Club XI and a Consett and District CI. Thanks to this piece in the Consett Guardian of 10/06/1881, we can perhaps determine the ground was a regular playing ground for cricket before 1888.

The year cited by the club itself as their formation year is 1888. The year after a "second annual concert" was held at the Temperance Hall, so this date is likely accurate for this specific club. The spa grounds were operated by the Surtees family, who provided the grounds for nominal rates.

Though unlabelled, the ground can be seen on the 1890s map. The site is much clearer however on the map surveyed in 1939, which is the first time it is formally illustrated as a cricket ground alongside the tennis ground which was opened in the late 1920s. The pavilion is situated on spa drive adjacent to Snow's Green Burn as it was in the 1890s, however had expanded considerably. The tennis ground also retained its own pavilion next to the spa.

The tennis grounds consisted of 3 courts, but were inadequate for a "high level of competitive play". They amalgamated with the Benfieldside Club who formed before 1900 and relocated here in the 70s.

The club are still playing at the ground today, though the historic tennis ground has been demolished.

Ordnance Survey

Ordnance Survey, 1947

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

Undated postcard of the Shotley Bridge Spa Grounds from the south. Unknown original source.

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

Undated photograph of Shotley Bridge CC. Source: Shotley Bridge CC (https://www.shotley-bridgecc.co.uk/#:~:text=for%20your%20event.-,Our%20Club,%2Din%2C%20year%2Dout.)

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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