Capacity: 4,151 (553 Seats)
Address: Braintree, Essex CM7 3RD
Telephone: 01376 345617
Fax: 01376 330976
Pitch Size: 110 x 70 yards
Club Nickname: The Iron
Year Ground Opened: 1923
Home Kit: Orange and Blue
On one side is the imposing Main Stand. This has 553 seats and runs for around half the length of the pitch, straddling the half way line. It was extended by adding two bays to the right hand side when the club won promotion to the Conference’s South Division in 2006. The Main Stand 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.
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.
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.
Although there is a good sized clubhouse at the ground, this is not available to away fans if segregation is in force. If fans are not separated then away supporters can gain access to the bar once they have entered inside the stadium. A five minute walk away is the Orange Tree Pub which is located on Cressing Road.
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, is listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. Check out the 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.
If you require hotel accommodation in Braintree then first try a hotel booking service provided by Late Rooms. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will earn a small commission if you book through them, but it will go to help with the running costs of keeping the Guide going. The Hotels listing also includes details of how far away the accommodation is located from the centre of Braintree.
Access their Braintree Hotels and Guest Houses pages.
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.
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 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!
Remember if travelling by train then you can normally save on the cost of fares by booking in advance.
Visit the the trainline website to see how much you can save on the price of train tickets.
Click on the trainline logo below:
The Club have introduced a category system (A, B & C) for Adult tickets (concession tickets are unaffected) whereby fans pay more to watch the more popular games. Category A prices are shown below with Category B & C prices shown in brackets:
Main Stand Seating:
Adults £18 (B £17) (C £16)
OAP's & Under 16's £12
Adults £17 (B £16) (C £15)
Under 16's £6
Under 11's £4
Official Programme: £2.50
4,000 v Barking, Essex Senior Cup, 8th February 1936
4,000 v Tottenham Hotspur, Friendly Match, 8th May 1952
2015-2016: 773 (Conference National)
2014-2015: 834 (Conference Premier)
2013-2014: 994 (Conference Premier)
If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me email@example.com 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 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.
Braintree Town v Gateshead
Conference Premier League
Saturday, March 10th 2012
Alan Price (Gateshead Fan)
1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground?
That's simple - I'd never been to Cressing Road before!
2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
Being a long journey (270 miles each way), it wasn't easy, but being properly prepared there were no problems. There was ample parking in the club car park, at only £2. The approach to the ground along Clockhouse Way looks a bit weird - have a look at the houses on Google Street View!
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly? As we only got to Braintree around 1:30pm, I didn't get off the supporters' bus at the town centre, as I preferred to avoid the hassle of getting to the ground after the pub, and to take maximum opportunity of taking in a new stadium. My friends who made for Wetherspoons were narked to be told they couldn't buy a drink without ordering a meal! I never saw any evidence of unfriendliness between fans - this is a proper non-league ground, with supporters who don't only go there to shout insults at the away fans.
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground. To be fair, Cressing Road doesn't do much more than meet Conference Premier standards, but credit to them for investing in their ground despite long-term plans to relocate. The Quag End was out of bounds as the addition of rows of terracing at the back was not quite complete. There was no segregation in place for this game, with the fans exchanging ends at half time in time-honoured non-league tradition. Well, as much as we could, with the Quag End closed. The Main Stand is decent, as is the small covered terrace opposite, but with both ends uncovered, anyone who likes to stand behind the goal could be disappointed if it's a wet day.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc.. It was an appalling game from a Gateshead point of view, with our lot going two down within six minutes, and not managing a shot on target until on the stroke of 90 minutes, with a cracking consolation goal. What an insult to fans who travelled for 540 miles and 11 hours to witness a total capitulation. There was a good atmosphere, and I don't even recall seeing a steward, but with two fairly civilised sets of fans, there was no need for them. Food was supplied by a mobile unit and was fairly ordinary (not too impressed with the chips), but the other features of the ground were what impressed me. The Club Shop is excellent, with a fantastic range of programmes and books incredibly well set out, as well as other stuff, there was a separate stall selling club-branded clothing, etc., and even a mobile sweet shop! And like the home fans, everyone was friendly. Just the way a football match should be.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
No problems getting away from the ground, except that heading away from the Town Centre down Cressing Road to Galleys Corner for the A120, the roundabout was so busy that it was difficult for our driver to get out.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out Well, I'm glad the new ground (for me) was a delight, because the football wasn't! I'd recommend Cressing Road to anyone who enjoys a proper non-league experience, and especially to anyone who likes a programme shop as they used to be. The shop is one of the best I've seen in a long time, it's clearly a real labour of love. It's a shame that so many bigger clubs have lost sight of the value of a facility such as this.. .