St Albans City

Clarence Park

Capacity: 5,007 (Seating 642)
Address: York Road, St Albans, AL1 4PL
Telephone: 01727 848914
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: Saints
Year Ground Opened: 1894
Undersoil Heating: No
Home Kit: Yellow and Blue

Main Stand
Main Stand
Cricket Pitch Side
Cricket Pitch Side
Clarence Park End
Clarence Park End
York Road End
York Road End

The ground is a largely an open one with terracing on three sides of the ground. On one side is the old Main Stand that was originally built in 1922. This small wooden stand is quaint looking, however, it doesn't have many creature comforts for the paying customer. The six rows of seating sit behind a large number of supporting pillars running across the front of the stand and if that were not enough hindrance, the stand is set well back from the playing area and there also the bases of two floodlight pylons sitting between the stand and the pitch. There is a slope on the pitch that runs up from the Clarence Park End up to the York Road End and you can see how the Main Stand has been built in sections, each raised a bit higher, to climb up the slope. Part of the Main Stand towards the Clarence Park End, has been converted into a Director's Lounge. Behind the stand the large brick building which is visible is the Club House.

Opposite the Main Stand is the East Terrace or perhaps better known as the Cricket Pitch Side. This largely open terrace does have a small covering in the middle. It is an interesting stand as it is cantilevered and is made of concrete, even its roof. The low roof does provide excellent protection from the weather. Both ends are small open terraces. If the crowd is segregated then the Clarence Park Terrace is allocated to away supporters. There is a small Club Shop situated inside the ground, next to the York Road Terrace. A set of four small floodlights, run down each side of the pitch. The playing surface itself has gained a reputation as being one of the best kept in the country and on my visit it did not disappoint.

The ground with a park on one side and a cricket ground on the other (which has an interesting looking Pavilion) is set in an attractive setting. This is enhanced with a number of trees being visible behind each side of the ground perimeter. Up until the late 90's the ground was famous for having a large oak tree that sat in the middle of the Clarence Park Terrace. It was not unknown for visiting goal keepers to get the odd acorn thrown in their direction. Alas, the oak tree became diseased and was swiftly removed by the Club.

The Club have put forward plans to build a new 5,000 capacity stadium, on the edge of St Albans, near the Nicholas Breakspear School in Colney Heath. The Club are looking to move as they currently lease their Clarence Park ground from the local council. Plus there is a preservation order on Clarence Park, meaning that the ground can't be developed any further. However the proposed new stadium location is currently green belt land and the scheme would also involve a housing development. As might be expected there is local opposition to the proposals and a number of hurdles would have to be overcome to make it become a reality.

If away fans are segregated then the Clarence Park Terrace is allocated to them. This small terrace is open to the elements so hope that it doesn't rain. The gents toilets are also open to the elements and were looking their age. Refreshments are provided by a refreshment van, which sells the usual array of burgers, hot dogs and chips.  On the plus side the stewards were relaxed and it should be a hassle free day out. However, with the ground being largely open, then as you would expect it is difficult to generate a good atmosphere.

There is a simple club house at the ground, called the Saints Bar, which is open to all fans. The entrance to it though can be a little hard to find (unless you walk around the ground from York Road), as you need to follow the pathway through Clarence Park around the back of the Clarence Park Terrace to get behind the Main Stand, where the bar is located. It is then up the stairs to the entrance. If fans are not segregated then fans can use the bar at half time, although you do have to show your match admission ticket to gain entrance back into the ground for the second half. The nearest pub to the ground is the Crown pub, which is only five minutes walk away at the bottom of Clarence Road. This spacious pub, shows Sky Sports, serves real and food is also available. If you have time on your hands then the town centre is around a 15 minute walk away where there are plenty of pubs to be found. Personally I enjoyed the Farmer's Boy on London Road. A nice comfortable pub with a beer garden, that has been recently refurbished. Apart from some reasonably priced food it is also serves Verulam Ales which are brewed on the premises.

If you require hotel accommodation in St Albans then first try a hotel booking service provided by Booking.com. 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 help towards the running costs of keeping this Guide going. 

Access their St Albans Hotels pages.

Remember that you can use the above link to book any other hotels that you may need for business or leisure, at home or abroad.

Booking.com

From The North (M1)
Leave the M1 at Junction 7 and take the M10 towards St Albans. At the end of the motorway, proceed straight across the first roundabout that you reach and at the next roundabout turn left onto the A1081 towards St Albans. Proceed along the A1081, until you reach a small roundabout a which you turn right into Alma Road (sign posted St Albans City Railway Station). Proceed up to the traffic lights (with the 'Horn' pub on your right hand side) and turn right into Victoria Street. Go up this road passing the railway station on your left and continue to follow the road around to the left. At the next traffic lights (with the Crown pub on your right), go straight onto into Clarence Road. A short way up Clarence Road, turn left for the entrance to the Football & Cricket grounds. 

Car Parking
There is little parking at the ground itself, although if you arrive early then you may be lucky. Otherwise there is plenty of on street parking in Clarence Road and in York Road (which is the next left after the entrance to the ground). Beware though that at the bottom of Clarence Road, that car parking is restricted to one hour pay and display and the traffic wardens were out in force on my visit. There are no restrictions further up Clarence Road. Also there is a good sized car park at St Albans Railway Station which is a quarter of a mile away from the ground. It costs £2.50 to park there all day on Saturdays or after 5pm on weekday evenings.

The nearest station is St Albans City, which is served by Thameslink trains from St Pancras and further south of London. Slow trains from London normally terminate at St Albans but fast trains go on to Luton or Bedford. The station is about a 5-10 minute walk away from the Clarence Park ground. 

On coming out of the main station entrance (on the east side), turn left along Station Way. At the top of this road turn right into Hatfield Road. Go down to the traffic lights (where the Crown pub can be seen on one corner) and turn left into Clarence Road and then left again for the ground entrance. You may be interested to note the cricket pavilion on your right. 

Alternatively, from the traffic lights, you could enter Clarence Park and take a short cut directly to the turnstiles. Brian Scott has informed me that on his visit in September 2017 that he noticed that a new entrance to Clarence Park is being made in Hatfield Road up near the railway bridge at the top of Station Way. If this is open on your visit it will be an even quicker walk.

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:

Adults £15
Concessions £10*
Under 16's £5
Under 12's Free**
Family Ticket: 2 Adults + 2 Under 16's £25

* Concessions apply to over 65's, Students, Unemployed and Under 22's.

** Only one Under 12 admitted free per paying accompanying adult. Otherwise entrance is £3.

Official Matchday Programme £2.50

St Albans City FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website).

Boreham Wood and Hemel Hempstead.

Record Attendance
9,757 v Ferryhill Athletic
FA Amateur Cup Quarter Final, February 27th, 1926.

Average Attendance
2016-2017: 703 (National League South)
2015-2016: 581 (National League South)
2014-2015: 570 (National League South)

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

St Albans City v Gloucester City
National League South
Saturday 2nd September 2017, 3pm
Brian Scott (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Clarence Park?
 
I needed a ground that I could get to quite easily from Suffolk as I needed to be back in Ipswich by 19.10, so I chose St Albans.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
The train journey is very easy to London Liverpool Street and then three stops on the underground to Farringdon and then the choice of lots of trains to St Albans. On the outward journey I chose a slow train as I had lots of time to spare and wanted the slower view from the window.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
With plenty of time to spare, I had a walk into the city centre and had a look around the cathedral. There was also a very busy market up the main shopping street. It looked an attractive place. I walked to the ground at a steady pace stopping to have a look at the cricket pavilion. I also noted that a shorter route to the ground will soon be available once a new entrance is made to the park up near the railway bridge on Hatfield Road.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Clarence Park?
 
My first impression of Clarence Park was - goodness it's very OLD! Nothing much at all seemed new apart from a few of the blue plastic tip up seats. However the terracing is in good condition, and I did like the roof over the cricket-side terrace which must give very good protection from the weather.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
In the third minute Gloucester City scored from a good header, but the equaliser came in the 36th minute which was an excellent goal. In the 54th minute the game-changing incident happened. A Gloucester player had a shot at goal and it must have been handled in the penalty area as the referee awarded a penalty and sent the St Albans player off. Very harsh I thought as it could have been ball to hand. However, in the 77th minute St Albans did manage to get another goal to make it 2-2. I thought that this would be a fair result, but Gloucester managed to get a third goal in the last few minutes to make it 2-3. The attendance was 904.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
It is an easy walk back to the railway station. I left a few minutes early so that I could be sure of getting the 17.04 fast train back to Farringdon and then the 18.00 from Liverpool Street.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
It was a good day out in the warm sunshine with all trains running to time and not too busy.

St Albans City v Stevenage
Pre-Season Friendly
Saturday 9th July 2016, 3pm
James Walker (Stevenage fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Clarence Park?

Clarence Park Welcome SignAfter a month of, quite frankly, shocking Euro 2016 football (and more humiliation from England), it was finally time for regular Saturday football to start again, and a local game to kick off the pre-season! Also pre-season means it's time to play the best terrace game around, guess the trialist!

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

I took the number 300 bus from Stevenage direct to St Albans for the game, which took us to St Albans train station (taking roughly 1 hour 15 minutes). From there, it was a simple walk through the local park to the ground. We arrived for just before 1.30pm and even had time to take in some local cricket before going in!

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

Once entering the ground it was a case of picking up a badge (£2) and a programme (£2.50) before finding a good place to take the game in from and getting some food. I didn't see any home fans outside but spoke to a couple inside the ground who were very friendly.

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

Clarence Park is a very nice football ground with seating running the length of one of the sides as well as terracing all around the other 3 sides. Although most games are non-segregated, the stewards informed me that the occasional games do have segregation, and when they do, the away end is one of the open terraces behind one of the goals.

Clarence Park

Clarence Park St Albans

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

The game itself was very good with Stevenage running out 3-2 winners, with two new signings scoring; Andrew Fox scoring our first followed by a brace for Jake Hyde. The food was lovely, with a hot dog with onions and chips coming to £4, and a fantastic size making very good value for money. I did not use the facilities there and barely noticed the relaxed stewards.

Come On Stevenage!

A Corner Kick To Stevenage

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting back was simple. A ten minute walk back to the station was followed by a much quicker bus journey back than was taken getting to St Albans in the first place, with getting back to Stevenage in just one hour.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Overall a very fun day out and a good start to pre-season, I would definately return here again should our paths ever cross again.

Half Time Score: St Albans City 1-0 Stevenage
Full Time Result: St Albans City 2-3 Stevenage
Attendance: 402

Why not write your own review of Clarence Park St Albans City and have it included in the Guide? Find out more about submitting a Fans Football Ground Review.

Updated 14th September 2017

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