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There are records of cricket being played on the HAC ground as long ago as 1725, but the first recorded game was on August 31, 1730 when London beat Surrey, winning 20 guineas in the process. London played major matches at the venue, as did England from 1739, and popularity of the place grew so that it became the country's major ground. But that was not welcomed by the owners, and in 1773 they attempted to block games from being played. Some major matches continued through to 1778, but by then the centre of cricket was shifting to Hambledon.
In 1834, the HAC was petitioned with a request to resume hosting matches, with one argument being that it would attract potential recruits to the company. Cricket eventually restarted in 1846 but was limited to members of the HAC. The HAC CC was formally founded in 1860.
The first ever balloon flight in the United Kingdom was that of Mr. Vincent Lunardi who took off from the HAC grounds in 1784.
Situated in the heart of the City of London, it is probbaly one of the most valuable cricket grounds in the world. The pitches were recently out of commission for a whole summer as an underground car park was built beneath them, but the whole playing field was relaid over the top with no apparent serious long-term damage.