Set in the heart of Gloucester, Kingsholm Stadium is a place feared by visitors and loved by the locals. Gloucester Rugby having been entertaining the stands for over 125 years and now has a capacity of 16,115.
Katy Homewood looks back at the history of Kingsholm, some of its most memorable matches and looks ahead to its future.
Since 1861 Gloucester Rugby have made their presence known at Kingsholm Stadium. The unusual nickname of ‘Castle Grim’ after the estate where the stadium is built upon. The main grandstand was opened in 2007 and has a 7,500-seated capacity.
The then Gloucester Football Club put forward a proposal to obtain the ground where the stadium was built in 1891. Following the purchase the first match took place that October. A fire struck the stadium ten years after a wooden stand was added and following the fire the original pavilion was demolished and the stand that was built is today known as ‘The Shed’.
‘The Shed’ is one of the most recognizable names in Premiership rugby with the North Stand running down the length of the pitch with 3,000 spaces. The name of the stand originates to its closeness to the action and low roofed atmosphere that enables formidable home support.
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Best recent match at Kingsholm
Gloucester 30 – 24 Saracens
A game that sits fresh in the mind is when the Cherry and Whites beat the reigning champions Saracens, on a cold Friday night. Gloucester showed dominance throughout and rattled the Wolfpack.
International games and concerts
Since the Barbarians and Ireland played a match at Kingsholm in 2008 the stadium has hosted eight other international matches. This includes one pool game in the 1991 Rugby World Cup and four pool games in the 2015 tournament. Kingsholm was also one of the venues for the 2000 Rugby League World Cup.
Kingsholm Stadium is a regular for concerts following the conclusion of the rugby season. It has hosted artists such as Madness, Elton John, Little Mix and Nile Rodgers.
In October of 2003 Gloucester Rugby launched ‘Project Kingsholm’ in the hope of redeveloping the entire ground at a cost of £6,000,000 with a launch for a supporter’s shares rights. The idea replicated some aspects of Northampton Saint’s ground, Franklins Gardens. But the plans were abandoned. Since then, the club have made developments to the seating and the ground.
In 2007 the club rejected a proposal to move to a new 15,000 seater stadium with the intention to be shared with Gloucester City A.F.C with a further development to hold 25,000 fans.
Kingsholm will continue bringing a home feel to rugby for many years to come and won’t be shying away from Friday nights under the lights in front of a packed stadium. The Cherry and Whites love Kingsholm, and Kingsholm loves them. Following the team’s domestic success last season, the future looks bright for the men in red and the beloved Kingsholm.
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