How did the Hampshire village of Nether Wallop become the producer of the famous Nether Wallop cricket bat?
Nether Wallop cricket bats are just another intriguing Hampshire history connection with the game of cricket. The village of Nether Wallop sits on the banks of the beautiful clear chalk waters of the River Test. Its banks are festooned with the ingredient necessary to make the finest cricket bats, the willow tree. Here then, was born the Nether Wallop cricket bat, one of the earliest and finest cricket bats made. The Nether Wallop bat, made using Nether Wallop willow.
John Small, the famous Hampshire cricketer, was making cricket bats in Petersfield at the end of the C18th and early C19th but the source for his willow is not known. The industry was still going strong when W.G Grace was playing, he used a Nether Wallop cricket bat.
One wonders how many Nether Wallop cricket bats found their way to the cricket ground at Hambledon in Hampshire, considered by many to be the home of English cricket and with long associations to the cricketer John Small of Petersfield.