In the Mid-19th century an area of land outside the small village of Bovey Tracey was covered by gorse, bracken, silver birch trees and was known as Bovey Heath. It was here in 1850 that a small band of men cut out a cricket pitch and formed Bovey Tracey Cricket Club.

At first, little attempt would have been made to close cut or to roll the pitch but an area would have been cleared of gorse and the wickets pitched. The playing area was gradually enlarged over the next seventy years with gorse and fir trees removed before the First World War.

Building the pavilion

Just a few years later a Pavilion was built by the cricketers and paid for by subscriptions. At first it was a thatched, single-roomed building as there would have been no call for separate changing rooms in these early days. Some of the original external walls still exist today. It is also interesting to note that the Pavilion was erected facing North as were most Pavilions built in those days as the Victorians were not sun lovers and preferred sitting in the shade.

The pavilion was heated by an open fire, which was used up to the 1930’s and this was probably the cause of the fire in the 1870’s, which destroyed the thatched roof.

Fortunately, the Club has in its procession several cups and plates made at the Bovey potteries before the fire. These show the lovely old, thatched pavilion.

The Club has no records of when it was combined with the Bowling Club next door.

Continuous improvement of facilities

Over the years many alterations have been made to the Pavilion, such as the provision of changing rooms. Showers were installed in 1951. 

Until 1980, the Club had been known as Bovey Tracey Cricket & Bowling Club, it was then the bowlers decided that they would like to go their own way and their name was deleted from the title. The bowling club changing rooms were then used for a kitchen and an umpires changing room. In 2015 a major renovation of the Pavilion took place with the kitchen being enlarged by using the adjacent umpires room. A new umpires changing room was provided off of the staircase leading to the balcony. The score box was upgraded and a new electronic scoreboard installed. In 2021 further work was carried out with the provision of a bigger machine store, women's changing room, disabled toilet and we have a wheelchair ramp to help ensure the club is accessible to all. 

One of the top Clubs in Devon

Over the following years the Club has progressed to be one of the top Clubs in Devon. In 2002 the 1st XI won the Devon Premier League title for the first time in the club’s history and again in 2017. The 2nd XI have progressed to the ‘B’ Division and are the top 2nd XI in the County. Success has also followed with Cup competitions for all of the teams and promotions & relegations for the 3rd & 4th XIs which were created in recent years. The Club now boasts four Saturday League XIs plus a thriving Women’s section and a Junior section of 9 teams from U11s to U19s. A Club membership of over 560 is something to be proud of. 

The Club is often asked by Devon County Cricket Club to host important matches.