A look at Craven Cottage
August 21, 2017
Rovers fans are no strangers to Craven Cottage but for our younger supporters it may well be a first visit. It is certainly one of the more unusually named stadia in the country:
The original ‘Cottage’ was built in 1780 by William Craven, the sixth Baron Craven and was located on the centre circle of the pitch. At the time, the surrounding areas were woods which made up part of Anne Boleyn’s hunting grounds.
The Cottage was lived in by Edward Bulwer-Lytton (who wrote The Last Days of Pompeii ) and other somewhat notable (and moneyed) persons until it was destroyed by fire in May 1888. Many rumours persist among Fulham fans of past tenants of Craven Cottage. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Florence Nightingale and even Queen Victoria are reputed to have stayed there, although there is no real evidence for this. Following the fire, the site was abandoned.
Fulham had eight previous grounds before settling in at Craven Cottage for good. When representatives of Fulham first came across the land in 1894 it was so overgrown that it took two years to be made suitable for football to be played on it. A deal was struck for the owners of the ground to carry out the work, in return for which they would receive a proportion of the gate receipts.
The modern Craven Cottage is an all-seated stadium with 25,678 seats. Rovers fans will be housed in the Putney Stand.
There is very little car parking in the area at all with most of the area served by a one hour pay and display scheme. The nearest tube station is Putney Bridge, which is on the District Line. The ground is about a fifteen minute walk. Turn left out of the station and then immediately turn right into a street called Ranelagh Gardens. As the road bends around to the right you will see the Eight Bells pub on your right. Turn left after the pub to take you up to the main road by Putney Bridge. Cross over to the other side of the main road and proceed up to the bridge and then on reaching the bridge turn right to enter into Bishops Park alongside the Thames. Just proceed through the park (keeping the Thames on your left) and you will reach the ground ahead.
An alternative route by tube, is to get the Piccadilly Line to Hammersmith from Central London or Heathrow. It is then around a 20 minute walk to the ground, going straight down Fulham Palace Road (passing Charing Cross Hospital). Further on you can then turn right into Crabtree Lane (for the pub of the same name) or carry on and turn right into Harbord Street for Craven Cottage.