Aston Villa @ Villa Park


Aston Villa @ Villa Park with thanks to Above All Images/Ian Hay

One of the most iconic grounds in the Football League, the home to an equally famous club.

The following text is taken from the book, Football Grounds, and was written by Cassandra Wells.

"Aston Villa was formed by members of the Villa Cross Wesleyan Chapel in 1874.  The club moved to the Aston Lower grounds in 1896 after spending 20 years at a basic ground on Wellington Road.  The site was a leisure park dating back to the 1870s but had fallen into a state of disrepair.  Villa began developing the ground, building a main stand on what had been a sub-tropical garden.  Banking was raised on the other three sides of the ground and a basic barrel roof was added to the Trinity Road side.  The ground opened in 1897, the same year Villa won the League and Cup double.  Attendances continued to rise and prior to WWI the club was drawing in regular crowds of 26,000.  In 1914 Villa realised their plans for future development of the ground.  The work began with the removal of the concrete cycle path, which had run around the pitch; both end terraces were banked and another terrace added to the front of the Witton Lane Stand.  After the war the Trinity Road Stand was built, a stand which was so extravagant in design that it cost the club £89,810.  The Holte End was extended during WWII, and in 1946 Villa Park saw its highest ever crowd of 76,588.  Villa Park’s selection as a location for World Cup games brought about further development with seats being added to the ground’s terracing.  The two-tiered North Stand was built in 1977, with further development coming in the light of the Taylor report.  In 1990 the Holte End terracing was updated and the roof extended but as a result of poor planning the whole structure had to be demolished in 1994 and replaced with a two-tier stand.  Trinity Road Stand was refurbished in time for the 1996 European Championships.  In order to maintain a capacity in excess of 40,000 the club set about planning to redevelop the Witton Lane Stand (now the Doug Ellis Stand).  There are plans to redevelop and enlarge the North Stand."

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