Court Field, St.Fagans

St. Fagans Cricket Club played at Court Field from 1900 until 1906.

Created in 1862, the village club gained the patronage of Robert George Windsor-Clive, who lived at St. Fagans Castle. Like other members of the gentry, the Earl of Plymouth created a cricket team to play in `country house’, besides actively supporting the village team by giving them land at Greenwood Field, adjacent to the parish church. However, the facilities were very basic, with a couple of tents being pitched for use as changing rooms and refreshments.

With the St. Fagans club going from strength to strength, the Earl – who by now was the Club’s President – became acutely aware that superior facilities were needed, so in 1900 he lent a helping hand by providing land a mile or so to the south of the village at Court Farm. The Earl also spent £2,880 in laying a new wicket with fifty of his staff engaged in the creation of the Court Field ground.

The St.Fagans cricketers at Court Field in 1903. Photo Credit – Gareth Watkins/St Fagans CC

Four years later the pavilion was added, but despite having these impressive new facilities there was still a major problem, namely the distant location of the club’s new ground, a mile or so away from the village, with the players and supporters having to cross the railway line and walk uphill to Court Field, before doing the same after the game, and walking up Castle Hill to the Plymouth Arms to either celebrate or drown their sorrows. One thing for sure, after their walk from Court Field they would have had a decent thirst!

Once again, the Earl came to the Club’s rescue, providing land at an alternative site – Penhefyd Farm, much closer to the village, off Croft-y-Gennau Road which has been their home ever since their move in 1907. Court Field was subsequently leased to Lord Glanely, but he didn’t share Windsor-Clive’s love of cricket, allowing the field to run wild and converting the site of the pavilion into ornamental flower beds.

The St.Fagans cricketers prepare for a match at Court Field in 1903. Photo Credit – St.Fagans CC / Gareth Watkins

After the Great War, the Windsor-Clive family began disposing of their property, with Court Farm being initially converted into an isolation hospital, before being demolished and used for housing. The field remained vacant until 1952 when it was sold to Glamorgan Wanderers RFC who were looking for a new home themselves after their previous ground in Whitchurch had also been taken for housing.

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