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The first county cricket played at Leyton, which was bought for £12000, was on the June 15 1885. A year later, it was made the official headquarters of Essex. At first the ground was a mile from the nearest station (now Leyton Underground station) but soon a mainline link (Leyton Midland) gave more convenient access. In 1886 a new pavilion was built costing £3500.
At the end of 1922 Essex sold the ground to raise funds but agreed to lease it back. Poor results in 1931 and an escalating financial crisis led to that lease being terminated at the end of 1933 and the ground was taken over by the Metropolitan Police and the county's 48-year association ended.
In 1957, as Essex looked to take games to as many outgrounds as possible, Leyton returned to their fixture list and stayed there until 1977 when the county decided to centralise their matches at Chelmsford.
Leyton is probably best remembered outside Essex for the then world-record stand of 555 between Percy Holmes and Herbert Sutcliffe for Yorkshire against Essex in June 1932. The county's greatest success at this ground came in 1905 when they beat the touring Australians.