Trent Bridge, the home of Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, is a world famous cricketing landmark. Recognised as one of the finest cricket venues across the globe, it has acted as host for county and Test cricket since 1838 and is the world's third oldest Test ground.
The founder, William Clarke saw the potential of a quaint little meadow at the back of the Trent Bridge Inn in 1838. He married the landlady, Mary Chapman, and within a year was hosting matches on a newly created, fenced off ground alongside the pub. Considered by many players and spectators to be one of the most pleasant in ngland, the architecture of the ground has been kept within the parameters set by the 1886 pavilion.
Trent Bridge held its first international cricket match in 1899 between England and Australia. The match was held from June 1-3 and finished as a draw.
The ground then had the honour of hosting the first match of the first five-match Test series in England. W.G. Grace, playing his last Test, was 50yrs 320 days old when the match ended; only Wilfred Rhodes played Test cricket at a greater age, and he made his debut in the same game.
Trent Bridge has developed steadily ever since, and has seen many of the cricketing greats leave their mark on history. It can now host 15,000 people on a match day and is regularly sold out for Test and One-day Internationals, as well as offering many other facilities to visitors and guests from around Nottingham and further afield.
A Bright New Future
To confirm Trent Bridge's desire to continue as a successful Test Match venue, Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club have spent a considerable amount of money on the ground over the last 20 years. The two most recent developments have been on the Fox Road and Radcliffe Road sides of the ground. The £7.2 million Trent Bridge Cricket Centre was opened to huge acclaim by former Notts hero Sir Garfield Sobers in 1998 on the eve of the England v South Africa Test. Still affectionately known as the Radcliffe Road Stand, the multi-purpose complex contains many outside facilities for visitors to use and enjoy, as well as offering world-class views of the action on the pitch.
The building work continued in 2002, when the new £1.9 million Fox Road stand was opened by Ian Botham at the One-day International between England and Sri Lanka. Featuring a state of the art 'aircraft wing' roof, the 2,300 seater stand was designed by Notts-based Maber Associates and won the prestigious Civic Trust Award. The building of these two stands follows on from the creation of the William Clarke Stand in 1990, and the Hound Road Stand in 1993.
The success of these developments was underlined by the ground's successful hosting of the first Twenty20 Finals Day in 2003, when four teams, three matches, 'half-time' entertainment, 15,000 fans and a live audience of millions saw Surrey lift the trophy.
Trent Bridge was once again the hosts of the Twenty20 Finals Day in 2006, when Notts, Essex, Leicestershire and Surry reached the Semi Finals for another sell out day with pop superstars Sugar Babes providing the ‘half-time’ entertainment.
November 2006 saw the unveiling of ambitious plans for an £8.2m upgrade of the ground by announcing they were seeking planning permission for a new stand to replace the West Wing and Parr Stand on the Bridgeford Road side of the ground.