Home of Margate FC

Opened 1929

Capacity 3,000

Rating: 4.4

(287) Google Reviews

A nice ground about 10-15 walk from the station. The crowd are friendly and very passionate about the club. The facilities are as you would expect for a community club at the level they play in. Building work is due to begin soon (Feb 2024) to improve the ground. A great place to watch football.
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2 months ago
Our game was cancelled so visited here. Paid my entry fee even though ladies were free today. Lovely staff, very welcoming, beautiful sunshine, good food and drink choices and prices. Thank you for having us.
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a year ago
Went here for a 21st Birthday party venue was very good and party was good but the staff didn’t appear to know what they where doing.All the draught beers and soft drinks out of pumps where dead flat no bubbles what so ever.My brother had a pint of lager pulled up in a warm glass which is wrong.Also couldn’t believe that they run out of Guinness quiet early on in the evening. Spoilt a good night as we had travelled from London for party.
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3 months ago
Very enjoyable day out inspired by wanting to buy a Libertines sponsored Margate football shirt. The supporters shop knitting queen, was very friendly and kind. She even offered to give me one of her woolly hats (this may not be available for all visitors every visit). Beer available thoughout the game and you can be stood outside watching the game to drink it. Good atmosphere, and banter between fans. Great match (which may also not be available for all visitors every visit). Supporters bar was excellent, very quick service and friendly staff. One thing write 'Toilets' on the outside toilets - we were stood next to them and had to ask where they were, and then saw a visiting away fan do the same! Great ground, great visit. Didn't have any, but the food looked good, too. Plenty of parking by the way, though we walked up from town which was easy to do. Good luck with the rest of the season.
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4 years ago

History (from Wikipedia)

The stadium has been the home of Margate F.C. since 1929,[2] the same year the park itself opened to the public.[3] The local council had purchased the former grounds of Hartsdown House for public use and built a stadium which it was agreed the football club would lease, initially at a charge of £200 per year.[4] Initially the players had to change in Hartsdown House itself, approximately 200 yards (180 m) from the pitch.[2] A small wooden grandstand with 500 bench seats was soon added, followed shortly afterwards by new dressing rooms and a second stand on the north side of the ground containing a mixture of standing and seated accommodation.[4] The first ever match at the new stadium was a friendly against Folkestone on 31 August 1929 and the first competitive match a Kent League fixture against Dover two weeks later.[2] In 1934 the club entered into an agreement to become a nursery team for Arsenal, and as part of the agreement the Hartsdown pitch was altered to exactly match the size of that at Highbury.[4]

Further covered spectator accommodation was erected at the ground in 1935, but this blew down in a storm in 1952 and had to be rebuilt. At around the same time the club added a new terrace next to the main stand, where supporters had previously stood on banked earth.
[4] A new covered terrace was installed at the Tivoli Park Avenue end of the ground in the late 1950s, officially named the Cornhill Stand but more usually known to fans as the Coffin End,[2] the name deriving from a prominent piece of graffiti which adorned its rear wall for many years.[5][6] The club's first set of floodlights was erected in September 1959 and inaugurated with a friendly match against West Ham United.[4]

In 1966 a new clubhouse was built, but there was little further development of the ground, although in the late 1980s the North Stand, which had been condemned by council officials
[2] was demolished and the clubhouse extended.[4] In 1982 the club was nearly evicted from the ground by the local council after its name change to Thanet United. A legal loophole was discovered which meant that the lease on the ground was held in the name of Margate F.C. and therefore the renamed club was technically no longer permitted to use the stadium, but this was eventually resolved and the club was allowed to remain.[2] Upon promotion to the Football Conference in 2001 the club spent £175,000 on improvements designed to bring the stadium up to the standard required for that level of football,[7] but soon afterwards launched an ambitious scheme to completely redevelop the site. The club moved out and the old stadium, which was constructed mainly from timber and corrugated iron,[8] was demolished in early 2003, but the local council disputed the plans submitted.[9] Although planned to be completed by August 2003,[10] the redevelopment process lasted for three years, delayed by issues regarding planning permission for the commercial facilities the club wanted to build in addition to the stadium itself.[11] The team ground-shared with other Kent clubs for three seasons, but club officials' failure to confirm a return date to Hartsdown led to Margate's expulsion from the Conference National in 2004.[12][13] In 2005 the club was finally able to return to the ground, albeit with pre-fabricated stands and temporary buildings in place.[14] Five years later, plans for the redevelopment of the north end of the ground, reportedly including the construction of a new terrace, a bar, and a three-storey hotel, were approved. Club chairman Keith Piper also announced that companies had expressed interest in paying for the naming rights of individual stands or even the entire stadium.[15]

Structure and facilities[edit]

As most of the stadium was demolished and little of the proposed redevelopment work has as yet been carried out at Hartsdown Park, the stadium's current facilities are limited. On the south side of the pitch, the site of the former main stand, portable buildings are in place behind the dugouts. The opposite side of the ground currently contains two prefabricated seated stands.[4]

Behind the goal at the western end of the ground, known as the Hartsdown Road end, the one terrace remaining from before the redevelopment work has been renovated, along with the clubhouse behind it. A plan was reportedly in place for a temporary standing structure at the opposite end of the ground, known as the Tivoli Park Avenue end, but this has yet to come to fruition.[4]

The first stage in the wider development of the site was the construction of a 5-a-side pitch complex. Although it was initially announced that work was to begin on the complex in May 2007,
[16] ground was not in fact broken for a further four months.[17] The complex opened on 9 December 2007.[18]

Future[edit]

The club's ultimate plan involves a stadium with a capacity of 5,000 forming part of a complex incorporating a hotel, fitness centre, conference centre, all-weather pitch and ten 5-a-side pitches.[9] In 2004 the club's stadium manager, Keith Piper quoted the total cost of the hotel alone as more than £6,000,000, but stated that the club had sufficient financial backing.[19] The following year the total cost of the project, which it was revealed would be funded by developers CNC Properties, was put at £8,000,000.[20] It has been claimed that the redevelopment will raise the standard of the stadium to that required for entry to the Football League.[21]

Things to do nearby.

Peter's Fish Factory.

13 Reviews
Photo of Peter W.

This is a really great restaurant. Been there many a time. I always recommend it when asked. I do happen to know the owner now (didn't when I first came... Read More

Photo of Malaki B.

I love the amazing food, it's always nice, especially the mayo, I don't know why but the mayo is amazing. The service is pretty average so it's good. I love... Read More

Photo of Tracey W.

The best fish and chips in Margate which is why generally you have to queue and wait awhile to be served. You can order fish saveloy and pies but the only... Read More

Margate Beach.

10 Reviews
Photo of Ninawriter

Arrived on the coach with a glorious sun covering the sky, a recipe for a successful holiday. Suit case in hand, itching to change into something... Read More

Photo of kathcake

Margate has a lovely beach so it's such a shame it's fallen into decay! I remember visiting the seaside at Margate when I was 7 years old. The place was... Read More