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Hampshire played MCC in a match at Dean Park on June 28 and 29 1897, but this game was ruled not first-class by the MCC and therefore the first first-class fixture did not take place until later the same week July 1, 2 and 3 when Hampshire opposed the Philadelphians. In the following season, Hampshire staged their first Championship game at this venue, when they played Somerset on July 11, 12 and 13. The financial success of this match prompted the Hampshire authorities to allocate two Championship matches to Bournemouth in 1899 and it was a regular venue for county cricket until 1992. In 1927, the County Club formed a company to take over the lease of Dean Park and on January 1st 1948, the ground was taken under the direct control of the County Club, with Col. R.A.W. Binny being appointed manager and Frank Duran as groundsman.
There were two attempts to start a festival at Dean Park. WG Grace supported one effort early in the 20th century, and there was another try in the 1920s
The ground is circular in plan and entered from Cavendish Road, which forms part of the boundary of the ground on the South West side. The pavilion on the right of the main entrance was rather small with the visitors dressing-room being at the rear. Most of the ground is surrounded by the gardens of houses whose hedges and trees form a pleasant backcloth, Dean Park being part of a northern suburb of Bournemouth
and not easily found by those who are strangers to the area. Since Hampshire finished playing at Dean Park, the ground is used mainly for Minor County contests by Dorset.
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