Club History 1 of 10

1. The Ground

Since its formation in 1889, and to the present day, the club has played cricket at “The Grove”, off Oakley Road, Bromley Common.

The earliest recorded match played on Bromley Common dates back to 30 July 1735 played between a Kent side and London Cricket Club. Kent won by 10 wickets after scoring 97 and 9-0 in reply to London's 73 and 32. The report of this match states that “a large crowd attended and a great deal of mischief was done. It seems that horses panicked and riders were thrown while some members of the crowd were rode over. One man was carried off for dead as HRH passed by at the entrance to the Common”. "HRH" was Frederick, Prince of Wales, first in line to the Throne of England. Unfortunately he died, some say after being hit by a cricket ball, before he could be crowned King. He was a keen patron of cricket, and attended many matches.
Bromley Common was used for major cricket matches on at least a dozen occasions between 1735 and 1752. Kent played seven matches, four of which were against “All England” sides. The last major match known to have been played was 30 June 1752.

In 1748 a famous single-wicket match also took place between two of the best players in the country: Mr Mills, a Bromley bookmaker and Kent player, and T Faulkener of London.

Bromley Common’s early cricket ground is believed to have been in the area of Brick-Kiln Lane (now Holmesdale Road), where a connection can be made with the local game and the Norman family. George Warde Norman (1793 to 1882) mentioned in his memoirs that he played there. He was a member of a family which had extensive lands around the south of Bromley, including Bromley Common. The Norman family name is continued locally, with a large local park being named after the family.

Following the Napoleonic war, and Napoleon’s defeat in Russia in 1812, cricket began a revival in England. A new ground was established on Princes Plain, Bromley Common, under the name of Princes Plain Cricket Club. The club’s first treasure was George Warde Norman, who also played for Eton. He worked abroad between 1817 and 1824, and took up cricket again when he returned, winning a place in the Kent side which he kept until well into his forties. The infamous Enclosure Act of 1821 prevented cricket from being played at Princes Plain, and the club moved to Chislehurst, changing its name to West Kent Cricket Club.

Cricket in Bromley in general went into decline in Bromley, with the White Hart Fields (then behind the White Hart public house) ground closing in Bromley Town. Other clubs in the area continued to thrive.