A stunning view of The Oval under lights
Kennington Oval LondonThe Oval Cricket Ground, Kennington, London, SE 11 5SS (Phone: 020-3946-0100)
Also knows asThe Oval; The AMP Oval; The Foster's Oval; The Brit Oval; The Kia Oval
End NamesPavilion End, Vauxhall End
Flood LightsYes, 2009
Home TeamsEngland, Surrey
Current Local Time10:15, Tue Mar 05, 2024
This is where it all began. The first-ever Test on English soil was played here in September 1880, resulting in an England win over Australia by five wickets, with WG Grace scoring a hundred on debut, and this is where a Test series in England traditionally ends.

More pertinently, this is the historic venue where the legend of the Ashes was born a couple of years after the inaugural Test, in August 1882. England, chasing only 85 to win, slumped from 51 for 2 to 78 all out. The next morning The Sporting Times published its famous mock obituary and the legend was born.

The Oval has witnessed many historic matches. England's dramatic one-wicket win in 1902 inspired by Gilbert Jessop's sensational hundred; Australia's 701 in 1930 as Don Bradman (244) and Bill Ponsford (266) put on 451 for the second wicket; England's 903 for 7 as they beat Australia by an innings and 579 runs in 1938; Bradman's farewell duck in 1948; Denis Compton scoring the boundary which meant England regained the Ashes in 1953; Michael Holding's 14 wickets on a featherbed in 1976; Devon Malcolm's 9 for 57 against South Africa in 1994.

Owned by the Duchy of Cornwall (who is the Prince of Wales, hence his feathers have appeared on Surrey's badge since 1915), The Oval came about in the 1790s when an oval road was laid round what was then a cabbage patch. When a subsequent market garden failed, the land was opened as a cricket ground in 1845 after 10,000 turfs were brought in from Tooting Common. It has been Surrey headquarters ever since, even though it has been well outside the county boundary for many years.

It has hosted many other important sporting occasions and can claim to be the most important general sports ground in the world. It staged the first FA Cup final in 1872 (won by Wanderers in front of 2000 spectators) and the following year the first England international (against Scotland). It was the home of the FA Cup final between 1874 and 1892. In 1876 it staged to the first England v Wales and England v Scotland rugby internationals, and in 1877 to rugby's Varsity match. In addition, it has witnessed rock concerts (The Who and The Faces in 1971), ice skating and the now traditional end-of-season Aussie Rules match. It was also a temporary home to prisoners in transit during the Second World War.

The ground itself is dominated by the gasometers on the east side. Until fairly recently the pavilion, built in 1890, and the Vauxhall stand were the only structures of any significance, with banks of open and fairly uncomfortable seating making up the rest of the spectator facilities. More recent developments, culminating in a £25 million development which started in 2004. It was much needed as the venue had suffered from underinvestment and had a feeling of decay about it.

  • Travel Tube - Oval station (Northern line) is 200 yards from the ground Train - Vauxhall station (on all major routes to and from Waterloo) is about 800 yards away Car - Parking is limited (generally to four-hour meters) and expensive near the ground and in surrounding streets. Some local schools open their car parks but these are also not cheap Map here (this will link to streetmap.co.uk page) Hotels Click here