Surrey History Centre

Surrey History Centre in Woking collects and preserves the records of Surrey’s past and present, documenting the story of the county and its people from the 12th century to the 21st century.  We hold a number of important sporting archives, Surrey boasting many sporting firsts, including:

  • Two of the earliest known references to cricket, the first of 1598 coming in a Guildford Borough Guild Merchant and Court Leet book (SHC ref: BR/OC/1/2) and the second being found in a court roll of the manor of Wanborough dated 1616 (SHC ref: 1272/1/3)
  • The earliest known original reference to baseball in a diary belonging to William Bray in which he records playing ‘Base Ball’ with a group of friends somewhere near Guildford in 1775 (SHC ref: Z/493)
  • In 1772, as a result of some very accurate bowling by Edward ‘Lumpy’ Stevens (Chertsey and Surrey Cricket Clubs), the third stump was introduced into the game of cricket
  • A golf match at Hurst Park, Molesey, in 1758 is the first recorded in England
  • Surrey Walking Club was founded in Croydon in 1899 and was the first athletics club in the UK to specialise in walking

Sporting archives held at Surrey History Centre include the early archives of Surrey County Cricket Club, 1790-2006 (SHC refs: 2042, 2074, 3035, 3228 and others); records of the Surrey County Football Association, 1862-2013 (SHC refs: 7446, 9001, 9037 and others); the Royal Skating Club, formerly Wimbledon Skating Club, 1873-1947 (SHC ref: 3623); the archive of the Senior Golfers’ Society, 1926-2019 (SHC ref: 9627); the three closely-linked archives of Surrey Walking Club, Centurions 1911 and the Long Distance Walking Association (SHC refs: 8671, 8923 and 10205 respectively); records relating to horse racing including those of the Epsom Grandstand Association, 1768-[1969] (SHC ref: 3434); and records relating to motor racing, namely those of Brooklands racecourse in Weybridge, 1905-1972 (SHC ref: 3569).

We also hold records relating to many other sports in Surrey including shooting and cycling, and a host of local sports clubs.  More information about Surrey’s sporting heritage and sporting firsts can be found on our Exploring Surrey’s Past website.

For further details of specific sporting archives held at Surrey History Centre, please see our online catalogue which is available via our website.

This collection entry was last updated on 04/11/2021. Information incorrect or out-of-date?