Parker's Piece

Coordinates: 52°12′08″N 00°07′40″E / 52.20222°N 0.12778°E / 52.20222; 0.12778

Parker's Piece is a 25-acre (100,000 m2) flat and roughly square green common located near the centre of Cambridge, England and is now regarded as the birthplace of the rules of Association Football. The two main walking and cycling paths across it run diagonally, and the single lamp-post at the junction is colloquially known as Reality Checkpoint. The area is bounded by Park Terrace, Parkside, Gonville Place, and Regent Terrace. The Cambridge University Football Club Laws were first used on Parker's Piece and adopted by the Football Association in 1863. "They embrace the true principles of the game, with the greatest simplicity" (E. C. Morley, F.A. Hon. Sec. 1863). 'The Cambridge Rules appear to be the most desirable for the Association to adopt' (C. W. Alcock 1863, FA committee member and founder of the FA Cup). A statue was due to be erected in October 2013 to celebrate the 150th anniversary on the Football Association and their adoption of the Cambridge Rules, but has been delayed.[1]

The grass is well manicured and it is known today chiefly as a spot for picnics and games of football and cricket, and serves as the games field for nearby Parkside Community College. Fairs tend to be held on the rougher ground of Midsummer Common.

In 1838, a feast for 15,000 guests was held on Parker's Piece to celebrate the coronation of Queen Victoria.

Before 1613, the site of Parker's Piece was owned by Trinity College. In that year, the college exchanged the land — at that time located well outside the town — with the town of Cambridge for the majority of Garret Hostel Green, an island on the River Cam, and the site of the current Wren Library, Trinity College. It was subsequently named after a college cook, Edward Parker, who obtained the rights to farm on it.

As a cricket ground, Parker's Piece was used for first-class matches from 1817 to 1864.[2]

In the 19th century, it was one of the principal sports grounds used by students at the University of Cambridge and the site of numerous Varsity Matches against Oxford.

In the 19th century, football was also commonly played on this ground, as is described in the following quotation from George Corrie, Master of Jesus College (1838): "In walking with Willis we passed by Parker's Piece and there saw some forty Gownsmen playing at football. The novelty and liveliness of the scene were amusing!"[3]

This page was last edited on 20 June 2018, at 20:00 (UTC).
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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