Until 2010, King’s House School Sports Ground was previously known as the Civil Service Sports Ground and operated by the Civil Service Sports Council. Opened in 1926 by King George V and Prince Albert, the grounds have a longstanding history.
The first recorded match on the ground was in 1926, when the Civil Service cricket team played Australia in a non-first-class match. The following year, the ground held its only first-class match when the Civil Service played the touring New Zealanders.
His Royal Highness King George IV and the Queen Consort visited the bowls green in 1946, and HM Queen Elizabeth II again in 1956.
The site has remained the home of the Civil Service Football Club and Civil Service Rugby Club, now known as CS 1863 Stags, since its opening.
When it was formed, there was one Civil Service Football Club and its members played any of the games they wished, before Rugby and Football were standardised. The Football Association was formed on 26th October 1863 and the respective Football and Rugby teams were formed.
Civil Service Football Club
The Civil Service Football Club is acknowledged as the sole surviving association amateur football club from the original eleven clubs who founded The Football Association (FA) at the Freemasons’ Tavern, Great Queen Street in London on 26 October 1863.
They are the only existing founder member club of the English FA and a founder member of some of the oldest amateur leagues in the world. They helped create and played in the first ever FA Challenge Cup competition in the 1871/72 season. The Civil Service took part in the FA Cup from its inception until 1951.
CS 1863 Stags
On 26th January 1871, the Civil Service Rugby Club was one of 20 clubs who met at the Pall Mall Restaurant to form the Rugby Football Union. Of the 20 clubs which sent delegates only 7 other clubs remain – Blackheath, Guy’s Hospital, Harlequins, King’s College, Richmond, St Paul’s School and Wellington College.
Exactly 100 years later, on 26th January 1971, the Centenary of the Rugby Football Union was celebrated with a Founder Member Clubs’ Banquet at the Guildhall in London, at which the Lord Mayor of London and the President and Officers of the Rugby Football Union were our guests.
The Club was one of the founders of the Surrey RFU in 1879, and has been a member of the Middlesex RFU since the 1880s.
King’s House School Sports Ground
Since 2010, King’s House School has managed the grounds and overseen many new developments and facilities. In 2015 a FIFA and RFU approved 3G pitch was added to the site and in September 2021 works were completed on a new all-weather pitch, which has become the home to the London Wayfarers Hockey Club. The Wayfarers are the largest hockey club in the country, offering social to National League hockey for all ages. Four new cricket nets were also added alongside extended car parking. Upgrades to King’s Tennis Centre include a new clubhouse comprising of a tennis café, tennis shop and stringing service, two artificial clay courts for year round play, and a new strength and conditioning facility.
The grounds are home to a range of clubs and schools including Grenfell Athletic FC, Excel Sports, the Civil Service Football and Rugby Club.