Dartford Cricket Club

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Dartford Cricket Club
Team information
Establishedearly 18th century
Home venue Hesketh Park
Notable players William Bedle
John Frame

Dartford Cricket Club is one of the oldest cricket clubs in England with origins which date from the early 18th century, perhaps earlier. The earliest known match involving a team from Dartford took place in 1722, against London, [1] but the club's own website says it was formally established in 1727. [2] The club is still in existence and now plays in the Kent Cricket League.


Dartford players were reckoned by Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford, writing in his diary in 1723, to "lay claim to the greatest excellence" among English cricketers. The club played a number of big matches against London and, in 1756, they were involved in a tri-series against the sport's rising power, the Hambledon Club.

Dartford produced several famous players in the 18th century including cricket's earliest known great player William Bedle. Later players included William Hodsoll, John Bell, John Frame and Ned Wenman.

The club originally used Dartford Brent, an area of common land, as its ground. By the end of the 18th century it had moved to Bowman's Lodge on Dartford Heath before its current ground at Hesketh Park was established in 1905. In 2002 the club merged with Dartford Halls Cricket Club, retaining the name Dartford Cricket Club for its First XI. [3]

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Kent County Cricket Club English cricket club

Kent County Cricket Club is one of the eighteen first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. It represents the historic county of Kent. A club representing the county was first founded in 1842 but Kent teams have played top-class cricket since the early 18th century, and the club has always held first-class status. The current Kent County Cricket Club was formed on 6 December 1870 following the merger of two representative teams. Kent have competed in the County Championship since the official start of the competition in 1890 and have played in every top-level domestic cricket competition in England. The club's limited overs team is called the Kent Spitfires after the Supermarine Spitfire.

History of cricket to 1725

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Dartford Brent

Dartford Brent was an extensive area of common land on the outskirts of Dartford in Kent. Historically, it was the scene of a confrontation between King Henry VI and Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York in 1452 and in 1555 thousands of spectators were to witness the burning to death at the stake of Christopher Ward, a Dartford linen weaver, executed for his Protestant faith.

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Slindon Cricket Club

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Woolwich Cricket Club was an English cricket club based in the town of Woolwich, Kent. It was formed sometime in the first half of the 18th century, or earlier, and its earliest known record is in 1754 when its team played two matches against the prominent Dartford Cricket Club. The club, or at least a successor of it, then played a number of matches from 1797 to 1806 against Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), Montpelier Cricket Club, Croydon Cricket Club and other leading town clubs. After playing MCC in 1806, the club disappeared from the records. Throughout the period from 1754 to 1806, Woolwich's home ground was Barrack Field, part of Woolwich Common, which remains the home ground of the Royal Artillery Cricket Club (RACC). Mainstays of the club in its "Napoleonic" period were William Ayling, John Tanner and John Ward.

Hesketh Park is a cricket ground in Dartford in Kent. The ground is the home of Dartford Cricket Club, one of the oldest cricket clubs in the United Kingdom. The ground was established at the beginning of the 20th century and has been used as a first-class cricket venue by Kent County Cricket Club.

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English cricket matches to 1725 Wikimedia list article

The earliest definite mention of cricket is dated Monday, 17 January 1597. The reference is in the records of a legal case at Guildford re the use of a parcel of land c.1550 and John Derrick, a coroner, testified that he had at that time played cricket on the land when he was a boy. Cricket may have been a children's game in the 16th century but, about 1610, the earliest known organised match was played and references from that time indicate adult participation. From then to 1725, less than thirty matches are known to have been organised between recognised teams. Similarly, a limited number of players, teams and venues of the period have been recorded.

Ian Maun is a retired university lecturer who has written two chronological researches of 18th century cricket matches and events. Maun was a senior lecturer at the University of Exeter from 1999 until 2009, teaching French and German. His published cricket works are From Commons to Lord's, Volumes One and Two which cover the years 1700 to 1750 and 1751 to 1770 respectively; his intention is to ultimately publish researches of the whole 18th century. Maun's books have been generally well-received and he was voted "Cricket Statistician of the Year" by the Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians in 2009, following the publication of his first volume.


  1. Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians (1981) A Guide to Important Cricket Matches Played in the British Isles 1709 – 1863, p. 19. Nottingham: Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians.
  2. Our history: Cricket in Dartford, Dartford Cricket Club. Retrieved 2017-11-28.
  3. Merger gives town's cricket more clout, Kent Online , 2002-03-21. Retrieved 2017-11-28.