The Veracity Ground, situated east of Merry Oak Road in Sholing, has a long history as a sporting venue. The land was originally part of Sholing Common and owned by the Chamberlayne family of Weston Grove House. Tankerville Chamberlayne made the land available for sporting and religious events in the Edwardian period, possibly earlier. Southampton Corporation bought the land from Edith Chamberlayne in 1925 for use as a public open space. Before World War One the ground was used mainly as a football venue and boasted its own grandstand. Bitterne Guild, the area’s best amateur team, played there in front of thousands of supporters.
It was also the home of Thornycrofts works team, who in 1920 reached the first round of the FA Cup to be drawn at home against Burnley. The ground passed inspection by the FA, but Burnley objected and the game was eventually played at Fratton Park, Portsmouth. The ground has also been used for cricket, cycling and more recently, petanque. The origin of the name ‘Veracity’ is not known, but may have something to do with the religious events that were sometimes held there in the Edwardian period.
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