Wednesday, 12 Jun 2024

Craven Cottage: The Historic Home of Fulham Football Club

Craven Cottage is more than just a football stadium. Its rich history and unique features make it a special place for fans and visitors alike. Let’s explore the fascinating story behind Fulham’s home ground and discover what makes it so iconic.

The Origins of Craven Cottage

Craven Cottage has an intriguing past that dates back to 1780 when a real cottage stood on the grounds. Rumors suggest that notable figures like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Florence Nightingale, and even Queen Victoria may have been occupants of the cottage. While these claims remain unsubstantiated, they add to the mystique of the stadium.

The original cottage occupied the space where the center circle stands today. The surrounding area was once a forest, part of a hunting ground used by Anne Boleyn. In 1888, tragedy struck when the cottage burned down, leaving behind a legacy that would forever be associated with Fulham Football Club.

A Permanent Home for Fulham

Before finding their home at Craven Cottage, Fulham was a club without a fixed location. They wandered from one ground to another, never truly settling down. However, club representatives discovered the potential of the land that would eventually become their permanent home.

The grounds were overgrown and required two years of extensive work to make them suitable for football. Despite the challenges, Fulham’s dedication to finding a permanent home paid off when Craven Cottage opened its doors in 1896.

Exploring Craven Cottage: The Heart of Fulham

Craven Cottage has a unique charm, with four distinct stands that surround the pitch in the traditional English style. Let’s take a closer look at each section:

The Johnny Hayes Stand

This Grade II listed building is the oldest part of the stadium. It features the original wooden seating from when it first opened in 1905. Named after the club’s legendary forward, Johnny Hayes, this stand is a testament to Fulham’s rich history.

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The Putney End

Famous for its neutral seating section, the Putney End is typically reserved for away fans. It adds diversity and a vibrant atmosphere to the stadium.

The Riverside Stand

Considered the main stand, the Riverside Stand houses the manager’s dug-outs. It is a favorite among Fulham fans, as its concourse overlooks the picturesque River Thames.

The Hammersmith End

With its traditional ‘Kop’ style, the Hammersmith End is a single-tiered terrace known for its passionate home fans. This stand creates an electric atmosphere during matches.

Fulham Ticket Prices and How to Get Them

Getting your hands on Fulham match tickets can sometimes be a challenge, but we’ve got you covered. Prices vary depending on the opposition, your age, and your preferred seating location. The club also hosts special ‘Family Games’ at affordable prices, creating a fantastic opportunity for families to enjoy live football together.

To buy tickets, visit the official Fulham FC website, where you can also find additional information on the matches and availability. Alternatively, you can purchase tickets in person from the ticket office or by calling the dedicated ticket hotline. Remember, buying tickets in advance can save you some money, as prices increase on match days.

Traveling to Craven Cottage

Craven Cottage’s convenient location in London makes it easily accessible through various transportation methods. Here are some options for getting to the stadium:

Train

If you’re coming from outside London, you’ll likely arrive at one of the city’s major train stations. From there, take the tube to Putney Bridge, a short walk from the stadium. Hammersmith and Fulham Broadway stations are also within a reasonable distance.

Bus

London’s extensive bus network offers several routes that can take you to Craven Cottage. Consult transportation apps like Citymapper to find the best bus options based on your starting location.

Car

Driving to Craven Cottage can be tricky due to limited parking options and London’s infamous traffic. If you choose to drive, plan your route carefully and consider using nearby public car parks or private parking areas.

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Air

London is served by multiple airports, such as London City Airport, Stansted, and Gatwick. Choose the airport that suits you best and take advantage of the excellent transportation connections to central London before making your way to the stadium.

Taxi

Taxis are widely available in London but can be expensive. If you opt to take a taxi, be prepared for potential congestion and higher fares during peak travel times.

Parking and Useful Resources

Parking options around Craven Cottage are limited, especially during match times. On-street parking is not recommended due to restrictions and the likelihood of receiving a ticket. However, you may find private parking areas or public car parks in the surrounding region. Fulham Broadway Car Park, although not close, may offer a viable alternative for those unable to use public transportation.

For more information and available parking near Craven Cottage, you can consult resources like Just Park.

Fulham Hospitality and Facilities

Craven Cottage offers a range of hospitality options, although some are currently being developed. Whether you’re looking for a fine dining experience, a more relaxed buffet, or exclusive access to the Chairman’s Lounge, there is something to suit every taste. Keep in mind that the availability and details of hospitality packages may vary during the redevelopment phase, so it’s best to check with the club for the most up-to-date information.

In addition to hospitality, Craven Cottage is an excellent venue for private hire, offering meeting rooms and event spaces right by the Thames. Fulham’s events team is well-equipped to cater to your specific needs, ensuring a memorable experience for you and your guests.

Stadium Tours and Museum

Craven Cottage offers guided stadium tours on selected days, allowing visitors to explore its history and unique features. Tours typically last around 75 minutes and can be booked in advance through the club’s website. The museum showcases Fulham’s heritage, displaying memorabilia and highlights from the club’s illustrious past.

The Story of Fulham Football Club

Founded in 1879, Fulham Football Club has enjoyed notable success throughout its history. The club spent a total of 25 seasons in the top flight, including an impressive 13 consecutive seasons before their relegation in 2014. Despite never winning a major trophy, Fulham has produced talented players and reached significant finals, such as the FA Cup and the UEFA Europa League.

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The Future of Craven Cottage

Since taking over the club, current owner Shahid Khan has undertaken a redevelopment project at Craven Cottage. The Riverside Stand is undergoing construction, which will increase its capacity and provide modern amenities for fans and locals. The redevelopment aims to create impressive hospitality lounges and an enhanced concourse, elevating the matchday experience for everyone.

While the project is not yet complete, it is expected to be finished in time for the 2023/2024 season. Additionally, a new riverside walkway development, including an event space and a pier open to the public, will further enhance the area surrounding the stadium.

Craven Cottage’s ongoing development ensures that it remains an iconic and cherished venue for Fulham Football Club and its supporters.

FAQs

Can I purchase tickets on match days?

While it is possible to buy tickets on match days, it is generally recommended to purchase tickets in advance to ensure availability and avoid potential price increases.

Are there any hotel options near Craven Cottage?

London offers a wide range of hotels near Craven Cottage. Whether you’re looking for luxury accommodation or more budget-friendly options, you’ll find something to suit your needs.

Can I visit Craven Cottage without attending a match?

Yes, you can enjoy a stadium tour of Craven Cottage on selected days. The tours offer a unique opportunity to explore the stadium’s history and heritage.

Conclusion

Craven Cottage is more than just a football stadium. Its rich history, unique features, and ongoing redevelopment make it an essential visit for any football enthusiast. Whether you’re a die-hard Fulham fan or simply curious about the club’s heritage, Craven Cottage offers a memorable experience that showcases the heart and soul of Fulham Football Club.

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