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Colchester CC opened their new ground at Castle Park in 1908 and Essex staged their first game in 1914 returning their after the Great War and remaining through to 1966 when they transferred to the nearby Garrison Cricket Ground because of consistently poor drainage - in 1958 one festival match was abandoned as deckchairs floated across the outfield. They remained there until 1974 when they returned and continued to play matches there since.
Castle Park is, by far and away, the most attractive of the grounds used by Essex County Cricket Club. Lying to the north of the High Street, and below the level of the town and castle itself, the park is bordered by the remains of the Roman perimeter wall and the old Colchester by-pass. During Colchester Cricket Week, the park is transformed by the sudden arrival of tiered seating, the ubiquitous blue and white marquees and, of course, the mobile scoreboard. The pavilion is quite an elegant building, backed by trees through which the tower of the Victorian town hall peeps, spire-like, in the distance. Through the park runs the willow-lined River Colne, beautiful enough, but responsible for most of the ground's considerable drainage problems.
In 1938 Arthur Fagg became the only batsman ever to hit a double century in each innings - scoring 244 in his first and 202 not out in his second against Kent.
Martin Williamson