Table of Contents
Ground Guide by Cricket Tripper
The Taunton County Cricket Ground is also known as Cooper Associates County Cricket Ground. The cricket ground, nicknamed Ciderabad, is in Taunton in Somerset, and can be located between Priory Bridge Road and St James Street. It is the home of Somerset County Cricket Club, who have played there since 1882.
The Taunton County Cricket Ground was originally built as part of a sports centre by Taunton Athletics Club in 1881, following the boom in the popularity of athletics as a sport in the town. Howver the build was difficult to lay, due to the location of the land in close proximity to the River Tone. Taunton Athletics was an amalgamation of athletics clubs that joined resources to lease the 7.5 acres of land. The previous owner of the land was John Winter, a local gentleman farmer, who had leased it to Taunton Athletics Club for £50 per year. After the first 10 years of playing at Taunton County Cricket Ground on a lease basis, Somerset County Cricket Club bought the ground in 1896 for £2,000 – a campaign headed by Henry Murray-Anderdon who was the then club secretary. The first change made to the ground after its purchase was the planting of small trees along the boundary. In 1881 the original grandstand and pavilion was erected – although its intention was not for cricket but for the 15-mile cycle race between the French champion Frédéric De Civry and John Keen.
Somerset County Cricket Club played their first first-class cricket match at the Taunton County Cricket Ground between the 8th and the 10th of August in 1882. In this match they beat Hampshire County Cricket Club by five wickets. Later that month, a touring Australian team played against Somerset County Cricket Club, who were the first international to play at this ground. Somerset County Cricket Club were originally a nomadic club, who played their matches across the county, thanks to the goodwill of other people. In 1890 they regained their first-class status after an unbeaten season; they had previously lost this status due to poor performance.
The Taunton County Cricket Ground has a capacity of 8,500, however it used to be a lot smaller. At the start of the 20th century there was the ‘Hen Coop’ for important families as well as wooden benches for those that were less well off. A public bar was erected and well used, especially after the First World War. In the Second World War, the ground was lent to the military, but the ground was maintained. The first international cricket match was just over 100 years after the touring team visited Taunton County Cricket Ground, in 1983, when England played Sri Lanka in the 1983 ICC Cricket World Cup. In the 1999 ICC Cricket World Cup, Taunton County Cricket Ground also hosted two group-stage matches, as it did 20 years later in 2019. Women’s international cricket was slow to appear at Taunton County Cricket Ground. It was first played at the ground in 1997, and then reappeared in 2006 when it became the home of England’s women’s cricket team.
Visiting the Ground - Travel
Located in the West of England, Cooper Associates County Ground sits right in the heart of Somerset.
Use TA1 1JT in your Satnav. The official website claims to have ample parking at the ground with 2 car parks available to the public, Car Park A(TA1 1QD), and Car Park B (TA1 1JT)). As you approach the ground you will find many signs pointing you in the right direction.
Train - Public Transport
Taunton has it’s very own train station connected to the rest of the great British rail system. It’s just 12 minutes walk to the ground, making travelling by train ideal.
Airports and Flying
Bristol Airport is the closest one to the Ground but will take about 1 hour in a car/ taxi. Public transport is slightly worse but you can get a train which will take you about 1h 45 minutes.