St James Street,
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The County Ground, Taunton, is set right within the town of Taunton itself, minutes from the town centre. The most south-westerly of English first-class grounds, it is a ground that retains much character, despite extensive renovations and improvements. For many years the playing area was circled by a greyhound track, removed in the 1970s. The towers of St. Jame's, St. George's and St. Mary's churches rise behind the pavilion, and the Quantock Hills overlook the other end. The main entrance gates are named after JC White, who plied his trade here from 1909 to 1937. The county established itself here in 1882, although the first Championship match was not played here until 1891. The record attendance was in 1948 when 10,000 packed in to see Don Bradman's Australians. The venue also staged one-day internationals during the 1983 and 1999 World Cups.
It has seen many splendid innings, including two quadruple hundreds (a record shared with Melbourne and Karachi), Archie Maclaren's record of 424 being followed 93 years later by Graeme Hick's 405*. Viv Richards made a stunning 322 in a day for the county against Warwickshire in 1985, and Major RM Poore made 304 here during his remarkable season of 1899 (he made 1399 runs in only 12 innings). When conditions are right, however, bowlers can do well, and Tyler (1895), Trott (1900) and Rushby (1921) all took all 10 wickets here. It was on this ground as well, that Jack Hobbs first equalled, then beat the great WG's record of 126 centuries in 1925.
In 2006 Taunton was unveilled as the official home of English women's cricket.
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Tue Jul 18
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