Oxford

Marston Ground

Exact location unknown

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Type: Cinder (no longer exists), 586 2/3 y, lanes, lane straight

Authority:
Ceremonial County: Oxfordshire

NUTS Name: Oxford (M)

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OS National Grid Reference:
National Grid Reference: Unknown, Unknown

Paper Maps:
OS/Philip's Oxfordshire 123 # or 124 #

Train: Oxford (3M, approx)

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Other Info:

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In the earliest days of modern athletics at Oxford, the colleges held their annual sports at various venues, all grass. Exeter College used Port Meadow in 1850. In 1851, they went to Bullingdon Green, also known as Cowley School Recreation Grounds, and it was used by a number of colleges from 1851 until 1862. Medley Farm was used by some colleges in 1858-9. Magdalen College Cricket Ground was occasionally used, and a ground owned by Balliol. Christchurch Cricket Ground became the most popular venue. The need for a cinder track was clear, particularly as Cambridge were planning to open their new cinder track at Fenners in February 1867. The Oxford committee turned to a Cambridge man, the resourceful John G. Chambers, and under his direction the Oxford track at Marston was laid down within two months. It was first used for the Lincoln College Sports on 23rd February 1867, just two weeks after the Fenners track was opened at Cambridge. Marston, like Fenners, was one-third of a mile. It was reported to have sharpish corners but not as sharp as the track in Brompton which was probably Beaufort House although might have been West London Cricket Ground. One of the problems with Marston was that it was built on clay and often flooded, or became so soggy it was unusable. A decision was thus made to build a new track at Iffley Road.

Last update: 15/07/2001

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