Thu. Mar 23rd, 2023

There are a lot of Kent villages with tales to inform in the case of cricket down the years – and Godmersham’s hyperlinks with one in every of historical past’s literary giants makes it no exception.

Native writer Ian Lambert’s new guide, Godmersham – A Cricketing Historical past – 1774-2022 charts almost 250 years of leather-based on willow within the parish, together with an affiliation with acclaimed author Jane Austen.

Cricketers who seem on the entrance cowl of Ian Lambert’s guide exterior the primary home at Godmersham Park Property

As per its title, cricket on this small village between Ashford and Canterbury was first recorded in 1774 with matches between the Gents of Wye, Godmersham and Chilham in opposition to the Gents of Faversham, which permits Godmersham to assert its place as an early contributor to cricket within the county.

The assorted homeowners of the Godmersham Park Property have been a significant cricketing affect, together with Edward Austen Knight, brother of Jane – an everyday customer to Godmersham. In 2013 an enactment of Victorian cricket was held to rejoice the publication of the primary version of one in every of her most well-known works, Pleasure and Prejudice.

4 of Austen Knight’s sons performed first-class cricket, one in every of whom was George Knight, an influential MCC member and extremely profitable campaigner in altering the legal guidelines of cricket to permit round-arm bowling.


Close to the primary home is a area often called “Crickets” the place it’s believed the sport was performed within the early days. The native membership performed on the current recreation floor with combined fortunes however stopped in 1964 as a result of a scarcity of numbers. Regardless of a brief revival, it ceased in 1986.

Nonetheless, like all good books, that specific chapter had a contented ending. The Sunley household, homeowners since 1983, initiated a brand new period with a brand new pitch on the mansion garden the place video games have been performed on a social foundation. One annual fixture which was revived – and continues to at the present time – is a match between the Property XI v the Vicar’s XI.

To buy Ian’s 50-page A5 guide, which incorporates greater than 50 images and illustrations of individuals and native scenes, contact [email protected] The fee is £5 or £7 postage and packing, with Godmersham Park Heritage Centre benefitting from gross sales.

Godmersham Park (not the primary home) is open to the general public on Sunday, March 19 and Sunday, June 11 as a part of the Nationwide Open Gardens Scheme. Examine instances and entry cost at

Supply hyperlink

By Samy