History of the Club

History of the Club

Miss Lily Gower, All England Open Champion, 1905

The game of croquet became popular in the 1860s because it was the only game where ladies and gentlemen could mix outdoors together.   With the rising popularity of Lawn Tennis, croquet became less fashionable and many croquet lawns were converted into tennis courts (a tennis court is half the size of a croquet lawn).

At Down Grange there are indications that there was a croquet court in front of the original house (beyond the iron railings) but we have no knowledge of who played there.

Basingstoke Croquet Club was founded in 1985 and has relied on support from the Borough Council for playing facilities.   The first lawn was in the War Memorial Park,  but this was taken for the tennis club;  various other sites were tried before the present site was identified in 1989.

Ian Harrison, Basingstoke Croquet Club in Portugal 2015

The Club and the U3A Croquet Section work closely with the Council to maintain the lawn as well as possible. We have been in discussion for some time with a view to obtaining a new site with two lawns and better pavilion facilities.