Braintree Town

Ironmongery Direct Stadium

Capacity: 4,222 (553 Seats)
Address: Braintree, Essex CM7 3DE
Telephone: 01376 345617
Fax: 01376 330976
Pitch Size: 110 x 70 yards
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: The Iron
Year Ground Opened: 1923
Undersoil Heating: No
Home Kit: Orange and Blue

Main Stand
Main Stand
Cressing Road Terrace
Cressing Road Terrace
Clubhouse End
Clubhouse End
Quag End
Quag End
Main Stand and Clubhouse End
Main Stand and Clubhouse End

The Ironmongery Direct Stadium or Cressing Road Ground as it is more well known, has an imposing Main Stand on one side. This has 553 seats and runs for around half the length of the pitch, straddling the half way line and has open portions of terracing to either side. It does though have a number of supporting pillars running along its front. It also has a large television gantry situated on top of its roof. Opposite is the Cressing Road Terrace. In a former life the framework for this stand was the old Main Stand at Bedworth United. This pitch roofed covered terrace has the dugouts located in front. A total of 1,130 can be catered for on this side, with 755 of them under the cover.

Both ends are uncovered and the Clubhouse End (capacity 1,131), is split into two blocks of terracing with a gap in the middle that leads to the bar, main exit and excellent supporters club shop (an Aladdin’s Cave of programmes, badges, books, cards, sundry old shirts for a fiver, scarves and ephemera). The concrete terrace behind the goal is the older one and the newer metal one next to it was added after promotion to the Conference in 2011. The ground has a set of eight old school lattice floodlight pylons, four of which are situated behind each of the stands at the sides of the pitch. They are the original set, provided by Christy Brothers Limited in 1967, and sadly a rarity in the modern age. The pylons are set back from the pitch as there was originally a county standard running track at the ground. If standing on the top terrace at the away end and turning around you can still make out the sweep of the old running track as the outer perimeter fence still follows the path of the former curved terracing. There is a second souvenir shop in the home area, by the corner flag on the main stand side. That one sells mostly shirts, training tops, tee-shirts etc but also scarves and other souvenirs.

The blue and orange main gates at the club were originally at the Crittall Factory in Coggeshall Road (Braintree Town were originally the works team of Crittall Windows and known as Crittall Athletic until 1968, and Braintree & Crittall Athletic until 1981). Just inside those gates, and a little to the left is an old ornate turnstile bolted to the ground. For a while, this was in use at the ground after being obtained from Stowmarket Town in the 1980’s but it has a far grander history and was originally at Ipswich Town’s Portman Road ground in the 1930’s and possibly much earlier.

If segregation is in force, then away fans are housed in the Quag End (pronounced ‘Kwog’. This is short for Quagmire – a boggy mud heap, which is exactly what this end was in the mid-1980’s before it was concreted over. Braintree’s loyal fans would stubbornly stand at this end with their banners and air horns no matter how muddy the conditions). This terrace was redeveloped in 2012 with a new larger terrace, that has a capacity of 1,408. However, whereas the old terrace was covered, the new one is open to the elements. Nowadays there is an eleven step metal terrace in place at this end, and some additional terracing running from the away turnstile and around the corner towards the larger terrace. To the left of the away turnstiles is the main stand, with the last block of seats reserved for away supporters. For larger away followings the segregated area can be continued around to the far side and possibly include half of the covered Cressing Road terrace up as far as the dugouts. This section has also been opened in the past to away supporters during inclement weather, although the vast majority of National League fixtures each season are unsegregated. There is a burger wagon in the away end, although it is only open when segregation is in place. There is also a toilet block which is much better than the primitive facilities in the home section.  The away turnstiles are tucked out of sight. Take the footpath to the right of the ground that runs alongside the training pitch. The entrance is at the far end. 

There is a good sized clubhouse at the ground, this normally welcomes away fans. You can gain entrance to the clubhouse once you have gone through the turnstiles and entered the ground. However is not available to visiting supporters if segregation is in force.

The nearest pub is the Orange Tree which is located just a five minute walk away on Cressing Road (from the Club main entrance, turn right and then turn right again onto Cressing Road and the pub is along on the left). This pub also serves food. 

If arriving by train then you may care to visit a Wetherspoons outlet called the Picture Palace on Fairfield Road, which is only a five minute walk away from the station. This converted former cinema has a  superb old seated balcony which is still intact. The ground is approximately 20 minute’s walk from this pub. There are various other hostelries in town, including the Nags Head and the Bull in the Market Place, the low beamed Boars Head at the far end of the High Street, and The Swan in Bank Street. The White Hart is barely a minute’s walk from the Swan, and a further minute along Rayne Road is the Horse & Groom. The football club’s changing rooms and headquarters were in this pub when they played at Panfield Lane between 1903 – 1923. Apart from an extension out the back, it hasn’t changed much. The direct route out towards the ground from the Market Place passes the Golden Lion in Manor Street, and finally The Pub in Lakes Road. This giant structure often has a huge Braintree Town flag draped across the whole upper storey, depending on the importance of the game. 

If you had travelled to the ground by car from the M11, then you will have seen by the Galley’s Corner roundabout, a McDonalds, KFC & Pizza Hut outlets. There are also two pubs and two hotels sitting on either side of this roundabout although it must be said that the traffic at this roundabout can be terrible and locals will travel out of their way to avoid encountering this. The giant Freeport shopping complex is also nearby, where there are plenty of restaurants and a multiplex cinema but no pubs.


The club have been attempting to move to a new stadium for over a decade now and various plans have come and gone. The council envisage houses being built on the current site sooner rather than later and have earmarked a site at the end of Springwood Industrial Estate off Rayne Road. There has been encouraging sounds about this since Braintree’s brush with the National League play-offs in 2016 although it is anticipated that no move would take place before 2019. The new stadium would be up to Football League standard. By road the new ground looks a horrendously long way out of town, being at the far end of Rayne Road and then a very long walk along the only way into and off the industrial estate along Springwood Drive. There is a much shorter walk from the town centre however that would take barely 15 minutes down Panfield Lane (past the site of the first ground), and then down a footpath beyond Tabor Academy. There are plans for the industrial road to be continued through to Panfield Lane at some stage.

Leave the M11 at junction 8 and take the A120 towards Colchester. Follow the A120 for 16 miles until you reach the 'Galley's Corner' roundabout (with McDonalds on your right). It is the first roundabout after the M11 and you will know when you are near it because you will get stuck in a lengthy tailback! Take the first exit into Cressing Road. After three quarters of a mile turn left into Clockhouse Way (signposted Braintree Town FC, and Braintree Tennis Club) and then first left again for the ground.

Car Parking
There is a small car park at the ground which costs £2, but closes on police advice 30 minutes before the match. No ‘car park full’ signs are placed out on the road, and it can be difficult to turn around as kick off time approaches if you are turned away. Considerate street parking is a good option, and there is plenty of it available particularly along Stubbs Lane (the last turning on the left along Cressing Road before the ground is reached).

Braintree Railway Station is situated just under a mile away from the Cressing Road Ground. It is served by trains from London Liverpool Street. Exit the station and turn right along the Station Approach. Cross Rose Hill at the pedestrian crossing into Railway Street. Turn right at the traffic lights into the wondrously named Trinovantian Way. This becomes Manor Street and then Lakes Road. After the 'Sportsmans' Snooker Club turn left into Chapel Hill. At the triangular junction turn right into Clockhouse Way. Turn left at the bend at the end of the road and then the entrance to the ground is on the right. There is a distinct lack of signage in the area. It takes around 20 minutes to walk from most parts of the town centre. 

Please note that Braintree has two train stations. Braintree Freeport may technically be a little bit closer and is ideal for the huge shopping centre and cinema complex but is not ideal for the football club unless you know where you are going. The shortest route to the ground is via a hidden footpath that has confused many a visitor. The walk from Braintree station in the town centre is a little longer but has more food and drink options, people to ask if you are unsure where to go, and also taxis!

Booking train tickets in advance will normally save you money! Find train times, prices and book tickets with Trainline. Visit the website below to see how much you can save on the price of your tickets:

All areas of the ground
Adults £14
OAP's/Full Time Students £10
Under 18's £5

Official Programme: £2.50

Braintree Town FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website).

Chelmsford City

Record Attendance

4,000 v Barking
Essex Senior Cup, 8th February 1936

4,000 v Tottenham Hotspur
Friendly Match, 8th May 1952

Average Attendance
2016-2017: 725 (National League)
2015-2016: 773 (National League) 
2014-2015: 834 (National League)

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If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me and I'll update the guide.

Special thanks to Jon Weaver for providing photos of the Main Stand and Cressing Road Terrace, as well as providing some of the information for this page.

Braintree Town v Concord Rangers
National League South
Saturday 14th April 2018, 3pm
Andy Wilkins (Concord Rangers fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Cressing Road Ground?
For me, it was a new ground to visit and one that I could do on the train. I was also intrigued to see if the ground was good as I had previously seen on a few YouTube videos.
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
I went by train but due to engineering works I had to take a longer route. I left my house at 10.30am for my local station so I could use the C2C train service up to Liverpool Street and then waited about half hour until the 12.48pm train to Braintree was set to depart. I arrived at the earlier stop of Braintree Freeport at 1.50pm (due to being told it was less walking time to walk from there instead of Braintree). I eventually reached the ground at 2.35/40pm.
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
I visited Braintree Freeport shopping centre for a quick toilet stop before the game before walking for 15 minutes to reach the ground. Inside the ground, the home fans seemed friendly enough.
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Cressing Road Ground?
When I reached the car park, I was expecting the entire ground to be bigger given the club had been competing in the National League for the last few years. Given I was doing photography for Concord, I went via the press turnstile and the chap who served me seemed very kind to deal with. I got a programme for £2 whilst there and once though, I thought it was a good crowded atmosphere.
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
The game was a very good one. Braintree had plenty of chances wasted throughout the first half but Concord had an injury after 10 minutes. Concord made the most of their few chances in the first half and eventually scored with an absolute beauty by Adam Topley in the second half. Braintree eventually came back with two goals in the final 15 minutes of the game to win 2-1. Concord matched Braintree throughout the game and Braintree's celebration securing the win seemed a bit over the top in my opinion. As for the programme, I have bought far better in my time groundhopping and it almost reminded me of the quality of an Essex Senior League programme which rather disappointed me. I ordered a burger and chips for £5 and it was good stuff. The burger was well cooked and the bun was a little defrosted but the staff were nice to deal with and I'll happily eat from there again. There was plenty of stewards around especially by the tunnel and they seemed kind enough.
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
I got away easily given the club opened the gates to exit from. Since it was rather hot and sunny out, I had a headache brew throughout the match so I then made a quick detour into the local Co-Op to get some food and drink for my long journey home to help get rid of it. I got to Braintree station at 5.35pm and I had to wait about 15/20 minutes before I could board the train back. I got back to Liverpool Street at 7pm and missed my train back home by 10 seconds so had to use the Tube to get back to Fenchurch Street station to catch another train or it was that I'd be waiting half hour for another train. Eventually, I got home around 9.15pm after 11 hours out.
Summary of overall thoughts of the day ou:t
A good day despite the result. If trains had been running between Southend and Shenfield, I would've been home a lot sooner than 9.15pm. But the food was good. Fans were reasonably quiet (minus when Braintree scored). I look forward to potentially revisiting next season if the opportunity comes along.

Braintree Town v Maidstone United
Football National League
Saturday 25th February 2017, 3pm
Julian Lawrence (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Cressing Road Ground?

We had a free Saturday from our usual team (Ipswich Town) so decided to take in a National League game and Braintree was fairly local and they were playing at home.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Used the directions found on this website. The Cressing Road Ground was easy to find, despite no signs to confirm your on the right road. Car parking was at the ground, easy and convenient at £2.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

We arrived only 20 minutes before kick off so didn't have time for anything other than go straight into the ground.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Cressing Road Ground?

Cressing Road is a proper old school non league ground, small covered seating stand where you can sit and even hear the local radio commentator. One covered terrace. Open away end, but all close up to the pitch and the playing action.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game was 0-0 draw. Two teams deadlocked from the start really. The visiting Maidstone United fans outnumbered the home supporters, (I would suggest that this may be a regular thing). The travelling 'Stones' were in very good voice though and created a good atmosphere. Food was the usual football fayre, burgers were good proper meat and okay at £3.50.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Bit of traffic getting to the main road, but by the time the results had come in around the country we were on our way.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Cressing Road was a nice little change from our usual Championship League games and we will probably be visiting again on an international break week. Hopefully we will see a goal next time!

Braintree Town v Grimsby Town
Conference National League
Saturday 10th October 2015, 3pm
Kevin Dixon (Grimsby Town fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting the Cressing Road football ground?

Another new one for me. Although we have played here over the last few seasons, it has more often than not been on a Tuesday night, so I have not yet had the chance to visit.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Another easy journey, although at 175 miles, not a short one. A46/A1/M11/A120, then just over half a mile off the A120 to the ground. Arriving at 1.45pm. I managed to park in Warren Road just opposite the ground.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

Had a 15 minute walk into the town centre, chatted with a few locals on the way, who were all very welcoming. Plenty of our fans in the Orange Tree pub just across from the ground.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the stadium?

Probably the smallest ground I have visited. We were housed on the Quag End, as well as having half of the Main Stand given over to us. The home fans had the other end, the other half of the Main Stand, and half of the stand opposite the Main Stand. Fortunately the weather was dry and reasonably warm, so we were fine on the open terrace.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

A pretty scrappy game, between two of the tightest defences in the league so far this season, which had 0-0 written all over it from very early on. The pitch was quite soft, and not conducive to good passing football. We suffered injuries to two of our defenders before half time, so we were a bit restricted for changes in the second half. In the end, a 0-0 draw was probably a fair result. Our fans were not as vocal as usual, not sure why, as we had nearly 600 there, in a crowd of just under 1,400, comfortably Braintree's best of the season so far. Stewards were friendly. Food was standard burger van fayre. Toilets were fine.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Easy to walk to car, but a long time to travel the half mile back to the A120, caused by the difficulty getting out at the roundabout there. After that though, an easy return journey, back in Grimsby by 8.45pm.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Another friendly place to visit, like most in this league, and somewhere I'd probably go again.


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Updated 25th May 2018