Craven Cottage

Craven Cottage

Meet Your Match at the Football

Craven Cottage has been the home stadium of Fulham FC since 1896 but the history of the site goes back much further as the original Craven Cottage was a royal hunting lodge.

Highlights

  • Visit the statue of Fulham favourite George Cohen, who played more than 450 games for the club between 1956 and 1969
  • Admire the Johnny Haynes Stand which, designed and built-in 1905 by Scottish architect Archibald Leitch, is the oldest in the Football league
  • Walk the “Green Mile” (as Fulham fans call it) across the beautiful Bishops Park from Putney Bridge rail station to the stadium

What to see and do

Have fun in the Family Area

On match days the stadium opens 90 minutes before kick-off and this offers junior ticket-holders (under the age of 14) the chance to get their faces painted, to take a selfie or two next to the players’ photo wall or with club mascot Billy the Badger. This area, which is in the Johnny Haynes Stand (blocks A, AL, K and KL), also has some games consoles for young fans to hone their skills on.

Spot the only tree to grow in a UK football stadium

The original Craven Cottage site was covered by woodlands and when it was cleared, just one plane tree was left standing. You can find the tree at the corner between Hammersmith End and the Riverside Stand. It’s the only tree to be seen in a senior football stadium in the UK.

Stand hands-on-hips underneath Johnny Haynes’ statue

You can find this statue of the iconic Fulham inside-forward outside the entrance to the club. Haynes (1934-2005) played for Fulham from 1952 until his retirement in 1970, making 594 appearances and scoring 146 goals. The statue captures his characteristic pose and fans like to copy this posture in photos of themselves.

Did you know? (5 Interesting Facts)

  1. The original Craven Cottage was built in 1780 as a hunting lodge for William Craven, the sixth Baron Craven. The cottage was located where the centre circle on the pitch is now.
  2. There are lots of rumours about various famous people, including Florence Nightingale, Arthur Conan Doyle and even Queen Victoria herself, living in the cottage, but there’s no real proof!
  3. One definite and rather notorious tenant, however, was author and Whig MP Edward Bulwer-Lytton, who lived in Craven Cottage for a number of years in the mid-1850s. The cottage fell into disrepair in the late 1880s and burned down in 1888.
  4. The Johnny Haynes stand and the pavilion (AKA, The Cottage), also built by Archibald Leitch, are now Grade II listed buildings; they were listed after Jimmy Hill became chairman in 1987 and saved the club from bankruptcy.
  5. Johnny Haynes was the first player in the English Football League to earn £100 per week after the abolition of the Football League’s £20 minimum wage in 1961.

History

  • 1780: William Craven built the Craven Cottage; the surrounding woodlands were the surrounding areas were woods which once formed part of Anne Boleyn’s hunting grounds.
  • 1888: The cottage burned down and was left abandoned.
  • 1894: Fulham FC representatives bought the land, but it took two years to bring it up to standard as a football pitch. The first game which had any gate receipts was on October 10 1896, when Fulham played Minerva in the Middlesex Senior Cup.
  • 1904: London City Council’s concerns over safety led to a court case. This case resulted, in 1905, in Ibrox Stadium architect Archibald Leitch working on a new space. For a record (at the time) £15,000, Leitch built the pavilion and the Stevenage Road Stand. The Stevenage Road stand was renamed the Johnny Haynes Stand after his death in a car accident in 2005
  • 1938: Fulham’s largest crowd – 49,335 – watched Fulham play Millwall on October 8 1938. This record still stands today and it’s unlikely that it’ll be beaten as Craven Cottage is an all-seater stadium with a 25,700 capacity.
  • 1962: Fulham became the last team in the league’s first division to get floodlights in its stadium. At the same time, Fulham also installed an electronic scoreboard at the Riverside Terrace.
  • 1963: Craven Cottage became the venue of the fastest hat-trick in the English Football League when Graham Leggat scored three goals in three minutes in a 10-1 defeat of Ipswich.

Facilities and accessibility

The whole of Craven Cottage is wheelchair accessible, although some visitors have complained about the steep ramps in some areas.

There are 68 wheelchair spaces by the pitch – 54 home spaces and 14 away spaces.

The entire stadium has 16 accessible toilets, most of which have baby changing facilities in them and are well-regarded by users. You’ll need a Radar key to unlock the toilets.

For visitors with hearing impairments, the stadium has 14 audio commentary headsets -seven for home fans and seven for away visitors.

Assistance dogs are welcome throughout Craven Cottage and hearing loops are available at all of the fixed catering points and in the main reception area.

The shops in Craven Cottage are fully accessible and have specially lowered counters for wheelchair users.

Wheelchair users can also order their food 30 minutes before kick-off and have it brought straight to them.

The nearest tube station to Craven Cottage is Putney Bridge, which is a 10-minute walk away from the stadium.