Barton Rovers
Sharpenhoe Road

One of the bonuses of going to games by car as opposed train is that it gives you the opportunity to stop off and see other grounds on the way. Generally speaking I don’t like doing it as a rule though, leaving the ground as a ‘surprise’ for when seeing a game itself, but whilst on the way to Hitchin, then passing by Barton Rovers’ Sharpenhoe Road then we couldn’t resist the temptation to pull up and have a quick look around.

Situated in the village of Barton-le-Clay in Bedfordshire, the ground stands on the road that gives it its name and runs into the centre, the floodlights visible for a distance around, although the entrance is somewhat less easy to find, tucked away un-signposted down the side of what at first glance looks like somebody’s drive. After discovering it though, you come out into a reasonable sized car park, with the turnstiles in the left hand side corner and a large gate adjacent. Beyond, is hard standing at the near end, which runs up to the halfway point of the near side where the Main Stand sits. It looks a bigger structure than it really is, with only four rows of seats, but ‘The President’s Lounge’ to the rear has big glazed doors opening out to a hospitality area built into the back of the stand, which lends a more substantial feel. Behind the stand is the clubhouse, named the ‘Ball and Jack’, which looking around to the right is explained with a picturesque entrance to the bowls club adjacent, the two sports sharing the same site.

Carrying on and there is more hard standing up to the far end, where a small two step terrace sits behind the goal to offer a mixed treat of a slightly elevated view, countered by either the net in the way or the chance of being hit by wayward shots! In the far corner is the grounds most surprising piece, a large electronic scoreboard, already switched on well before midday, with Barton’s match later that afternoon still in doubt due to the frosty weather. It’s an interesting touch, but looks somewhat out of place at a ground of this level, but then that’s what groundhopping is all about, seeing something new! Finally, the far side is again hard standing at each end, with five separate terraces in the middle, all identical with two steps, and brick built. Viewing from a distance they help make the pitch’s slope more evident (see pano), stepping downwards back towards the car park.

All in all a pleasant, tidy venue and whilst we had to leave to carry on to the days planned game a few miles east at Hitchin, then it’s somewhere I’ll be quite happy to find myself back at in the future to tick off for a match. 

The Turnstiles

The Near Side

Side of the Main Stand

The Clubhouse

The Bowls Club

Rear of the Main Stand

Looking across the Main Stand

The Press Box

The Car Park End

The Far End

The Main Stand

The Far Side

The Far End

The Far Side Stands

The Near End

Sharpenhoe Road Panoramic
(click here for full size picture)


1 comment:

  1. It has a classy entrance. It looks like you are entering to something else instead of a stadium. That kind of design I would like to see more and I bet that my friends at price per head services would like too.