AG- 15- FITZ PARK, KESWICK, CUMBRIA, ENGLAND
Photo courtesy : BBC sport
Photo courtesy : Keswick CC
Fitz Park is a public park in Keswick, Cumbria, England. Landscaped in the Victorian period, the Park is covered with Shrubberies and specimen trees and provides open space for recreation. At the foot of Latrigg & Skiddaw in the heart of the Lake District National Park, overlooked by impressive fells including Walla Crag, Cat Bells lies one of the loveliest grounds in the United Kingdom.
Flanked by the River Greta on the town side, Fitz Park is home to Keswick Cricket Club. This club plays in the premier division of North Lancashire and Cumbria Cricket League. The club’s second and third XIs play in the Eden Valley Cricket League.
THE CLUB HOUSE
Lower Fitz Park
Landscaped in the Victorian period, the park contains shrubberies and specimen trees, and provides open space for recreation. There are sports grounds for tennis and bowls, and the Keswick Museum and Art Gallery is situated there.
Keswick Museum and Art Gallery. Photo : Hyperleap.com
The first recorded match on the ground was in 1955, when Cumberland played the Lancashire Second XI in the Minor Counties Championship. Cumberland used the ground from 1955 to 1966 and 2000 to 2008; during this time the ground hosted 10 Minor Counties Championship matches, with the final match held at the ground in that competition being between Cumberland and Northumberland in 2008. During that time the ground has also hosted 2 MCCA Knockout Trophy matches, the last of which came in 2001, when Cumberland played Northumberland.
The ground has also hosted a single match between Cumberland and the Nottinghamshire Cricket Board in the 1st round of the 2003 Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy.
Founded in the mid-1880s, cricket is played at Fitz Park. The Park came into prominence in 2001 when “Wisden” monthly voted this as “the Loveliest cricket Ground” in the country and the Pavilion bears a plaque to commemorate the event. The fantastic play area in the lower Park includes equipment for children.
Children play area in Fitz Park. Photo courtesy: The Hikinghousehold.com
The first recorded match on the ground was in 1955 when Cumberland played the Lancashire Second XI in the Minor County League championship.
Fitz Park is owned by a Board of Trustees nominated by the Kenwick Town Council.
The Club is not charged any rent but is responsible for the maintenance of the ground and the Pavilion.
International cricketers like Darren Gough, Hansie Cronje and David Boon appeared in Benefit matches at the ground to raise funds for a new pavilion.
Over the years the Club has employed a number of overseas professionals and recently Geeth Kumara, a Srilankan all-rounder who apart from playing for the First XI, also coaches junior players and teams.
A devastating Storm Desmond caused havoc in 2015 when the River Greta overflowed and flooded the ground for the first time in its history. The pavilion built in the year 1995 was severely damaged and needed renovation. The members of the club rose to the occasion of restoring the Park to its original glory and ECB grants helped the ground to retain its prominence
In 2016, Keswick CC won the Burton Cup in 1996, their first trophy and followed it with a win in the Cumbria Cricket League next year. And most recently in 2013, the Club won the County Cup.