|Botany Bay Cricket Club||Enfield|
Botany Bay Cricket Club has played cricket at East Lodge since 1920, on land that was once part of Enfield Chase within the area attached to East Bailey Lodge, one of the three lodges established to accommodate the keepers when the Chase was divided into three walks after 1419. Although a private house named East Lodge exists today, it is not on the site of the original lodge. The hamlet, still rural today, probably dates from the time of the enclosure of the Chase in 1777, the origins of its name uncertain. The Cricket Club was founded in 1899 as a village cricket team and was supported by the Gundry family of North Lodge before establishing their ground at East Lodge, then tenanted by William Cranfield.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/04/2011
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Botany Bay Cricket Club plays on land that was once part of Enfield Chase within the area attached to East Bailey Lodge, one of the three lodges established to accommodate the keepers when the Chase was divided into three walks after 1419. Although a private house named East Lodge exists today, it is not on the site of the original lodge. From 1421 Enfield Chase, a deer park to which the people of the parishes of Enfield, Edmonton, Mimms and Hadley also had commoners rights, was in the ownership of the Crown. The extensive woodland around Enfield had been granted to Geoffrey de Mandeville by William the Conqueror as part of the manors of Edmonton and Enfield. It appears that de Mandeville, who became Earl of Essex, converted the Enfield woodland into the deer park in c.1136-40, enclosing over 8,000 acres for the purpose of hunting. It is likely to have been stocked with deer from Old Park, the Home Park of Enfield Manor, now the site of Bush Hill and Enfield Golf Courses (q.q.v.). By the C14th the Lords of the Manor of Enfield were the de Bohun family, Earls of Hereford, who remained in possession until 1419 when it passed to Henry V, whose father, the Earl of Derby and later Henry IV, had married Mary, younger daughter and co-heir of the late Humphry de Bohun. In 1421 Enfield Chase and Manor were allocated to the King as part of the Duchy of Lancaster, which remained landlord until 1937, apart from a period during the Civil War and Interregnum. East Lodge was occasionally used by Charles I as a hunting seat. Soon after he was executed in 1649 plans were made by the new Parliament to dispose of the royal parks, forests, chases and manors in order to provide funds to pay the army. Following a survey of the land, although sale of Enfield Chase was still under fierce discussion, in 1650 it was decided to sell the three lodges as well as Old Park and Theobalds Park.
As a result East Lodge was sold for £712 to Arthur Evelyn, £300 of which was his back pay as adjutant general of horse. At the time the land belonging to East Lodge included 38 acres in which there were 73 trees, and a garden containing fruit trees. The house, described as built 'of timber and Flemish wall roofed with tile, of one storey and a garret high', was later demolished when a new house was built in 1668 by the then leaseholder Lord Gerard, later Earl of Macclesfield (d.1694). After the Enfield Enclosure Act of 1777, the 'Very Desirable Leasehold Estate' was put up for auction in October 1779, and the Particulars referred to 'a Genteel Villa (recently repaired and modernised) called East Lodge, with suitable attached and detached offices, coach houses, stabling, pleasure ground, productive garden and surrounding enclosures of meadow, pasture and arable land, containing eighty-nine acres, three rods and thirty-three perches, tithe free, lying within a ring fence, with proper farming buildings.' The acre and a half gardens were described as 'fully cropped, and abundantly stocked with fruit trees; a hot house, green house and gardener's cottage. At the extremity of the pleasure ground is a handsome piece of water'. The estate altogether included a 7-acre paddock, 8-acre paddock, 2 garden meadows, a 5-acre meadow and four 'new allotments'. The John Carey map of 1786 shows 'Godwin Esq' as the tenant of East Lodge and the estate was later leased by Alexander Wedderburn, Lord Chancellor and Earl of Rosslyn (d.1805). The mansion became known as the Red Lodge to distinguish it from a nearby White Lodge built in the late C18th. In 1823 it was the home of William Fullerton Elphinstone and his family but both houses were demolished in the 1880s when the property was owned by G J Graham. The East Lodge of today is on the site of the White Lodge, rather than the older Red Lodge. Cedars of Lebanon are still visible in the grounds near the house, and in 1873 Edward Ford remarked on a particularly magnificent specimen over 90 feet high, with a sister tree, and it was also known for its fine willow trees.
The hamlet of Botany Bay may have grown up around the time of the enclosure of Enfield Chase, when estates like East Lodge, and the nearby North Lodge provided work in their houses and on their land. It is marked on the Christopher Greenwood Map of 1819. The Census of 1831 shows a population of 130 and by 1841 there were 27 households, with 2 entries for East Lodge listing 29 people associated with the house and farmland. A chapel has existed here since 1851, which was then linked to the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion, an evangelical sect. Protected by Green Belt legislation, the hamlet remains rural. There are various theories as to why it was so-called, one being that it was named after Botany Bay in Australia, deemed equally remote. However, this bay was Captain Cook's first landing place in Australia in April 1770, and the name was given, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica 'because of the variety of new plants found there by the expedition's naturalist Joseph (later Sir Joseph) Banks'. The phrase 'botany bay' would therefore have been current in the 1770s as the verdant area around the dis-chased Chase was becoming a popular retreat for the gentry. After the enclosure of the Chase, East Lodge Lane was one of a number of new roads that were required under the Act for Dividing Enfield Chase, to be provided at the cost of the Crown except where the road crossed land allotted to one of the parishes.
In the C19th although cricket was becoming increasingly popular relatively few local clubs had their own ground, those in Enfield often playing on Chase Green (q.v.) as well as the grounds of large houses such as Chase Side House, Chase Park and Clayesmore, with the patronage of the owners. This reflected the growing resolution in the Victorian era to promote healthy activity among the working classes and the landed gentry, philanthropic factory owners and the church among others actively encouraged workers and tradesmen to play cricket, with members of the families playing as well. The Botany Bay Cricket Club was established in 1899 as a village cricket team and there are records of matches against Clay Hill Cricket Club on Clayesmore estate in 1903 and 1904, and early patronage of the club came from the owners of nearby North Lodge, a property that dated from after the enclosure of Enfield Chase, sometimes mistakenly thought to be one of the early Chase lodges. From the mid 1880s the estate was owned by Sir William and Lady Gundry, and a surviving member of the family confirmed that Sir William had an interest in cricket and matches were played in the grounds between 'the house' and 'the village'. A photograph thought to be taken in 1900 may record the first such match. The Gundrys' three sons were known to play and it seems likely that the village club played at North Lodge until at least 1914. In 1920, Sir William having died in 1917 and Lady Gundry planning to leave North Lodge, the club approached the new tenant of East Lodge, William Bathgate Cranfield, to transfer their ground to East Lodge Lane.
Mr Cranfield was known to have an interest in sports and his sons had played cricket for Clay Hill before WWI and from that time he allowed the club to use a field at weekends at the junction of East Lodge and The Ridgeway. Mr Cranfield was President of Botany Bay Cricket Club from 1920 until his death in 1948, but according to his obituary in the Enfield Gazette he was also 'devoted to horticultural pursuits, where his reputation was well known and was distinguished by the award of numerous cups and medals for daffodils, peonies and ferns and the special award by the Royal Horticultural Society of the Victoria Medal of Honour in the year 1936. He was president of the Fern Society and sat on various committees of the RHS.'
In the early days entry to the ground was through the main East Lodge gate on the Ridgeway. In the 1920s Botany Bay had no bus service, electricity or gas, although the cricket club had access to water from a deep well fenced off at the boundary of the field. This was later called Percy's Well after Percy Collins, who undertook much of the building work for the club. Mr Cranfield gave his permission in 1927 for a shelter to be erected and funds were raised for this. William Hill and Son Cricket Club at Oakwood offered their club house to Botany Bay for £5 and it was duly purchased and erected in 1929. In the same year Mr Cranfield's cattle were grazed on the outfield, requiring the cricket table to be fenced. Other activities began to take place in the 1930s, such as darts and social activities. In 1940 the club closed down due the war and despite difficulties managed to reform in 1946 although it struggled to recruit new members, having lost many of the pre-war village members. The clubhouse had become dilapidated and in 1951 plans for a new Club Pavilion with a bar and other facilities took shape. By then the land was owned by Middlesex County Council, having been transferred by the King from the Duchy of Lancaster in 1937 as a result of Green Belt legislation. Following the death of Mr Cranfield as tenant at East Lodge in 1948, as only his sub-tenant the Cricket Club's position was uncertain. Initially MCC had plans to convert the East Lodge Estate, including the cricket field, into an open air school but the house proved inadequate. Other proposals were for open playing fields and a school for girls with behavioural difficulties in East Lodge house. North Lodge had by this time become a remand home for boys, St Nicholas House. The Cricket Club eventually became a tenant of MCC although it lost some land for school use; East Lodge was let to a further tenant. A second field was later added adjacent to the clubhouse as the club grew to 2 then 3 sides. There are now three fields and in 1984 the ground became home to Latymer Old Boys Football Club. To celebrate its centenary in 1999 Botany Bay Cricket Club visited Botany Bay in Australia and played a game of cricket against Botany Bay Sports Club, which was won by the visitors. In addition to petanque and darts, the Club hosts regular live music particularly jazz, as well as rock and roll and big band events. For many years the Women's Institute shared the site before becoming the players' tearoom in the mid 1990s, and since 2000 the Right Start Montessori School has had a unit on the grounds.
David Pam, 'The Story of Enfield Chase', Enfield Preservation Society, 1984; Revd George Hodson (Church History) and Edward Ford (General History), 'A History of Enfield in the County of Middlesex including its Royal and Ancient Manors, the Chase and the Duchy of Lancaster, with Notices of its Worthies, and its Natural History, Etc. Also an account of The Church and the Charities, and a History of the New River' (Enfield Press, printed by J H Meyers, 1873); Steve Collins, 'Botany Bay A Century of Village Cricket' (Steve Collins Associates, 1999)