The Recreation Ground, commonly known as the "Rec", is one of the most picturesque sports grounds in the world, let alone the UK. It is situated alongside the River Avon, between Bath Abbey and Great Pulteney Street Bridge, a masterpiece of Georgian-era architecture.
The land itself is the actual recreation ground of the city of Bath, a 5.2 acre (2.1 hectares) site that sits in the heart of one of Britain’s most beautiful cities. In the early part of the 1890s, the land was part of Bathwick Estate, which was owned by the Forester Family, and in 1894, Captain GW Forester granted a lease to the directors of The Bath and County Recreation Ground Company Limited, with the aim of making it suitable for sport and leisure pursuits. The first rugby match was played later that year, and three years on the first cricket match took place when Somerset County Cricket Club hosted the Gentlemen of Philadelphia.
The rugby club continued to use the ground until 1927, when they agreed to a new lease which allowed them use of the west side and to erect a Grand Stand, new North Stand, and a Pavilion for a term of 25 years. The lease has been regularly extended, and the most recent was signed in 1995 for a term of 75 years. A new West Stand was built in 1933 to replace the Grand Stand, but that in turn was damaged during World War Two and rebuilt at a cost of £12,000 (US $18,500). The club room was then built in 1954.
Nowadays, a quarter of the Recreation Ground is leased to Bath during the rugby season, and the ground holds 12,200. The East Stand is removed during summer so cricket can take place and field hockey, croquet, football, volleyball, and lacrosse all take place over the summer.
(All prices marked with a dollar sign in this review are US Dollars as of May 2013, unless otherwise noted.)
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