Watling Street (Dartford)

Last updated
Watling Street
Location Dartford, England
Coordinates 51°26′25″N0°14′47″E / 51.4403°N 0.2465°E / 51.4403; 0.2465 Coordinates: 51°26′25″N0°14′47″E / 51.4403°N 0.2465°E / 51.4403; 0.2465
SurfaceGrass
Construction
Opened1921
Closed1992
Demolished1992
Tenants
Dartford F.C. (1921–1992)
Maidstone United (1988–1992)

Watling Street was a football ground in Dartford, England. Located adjacent to Watling Street, it was the home ground of Dartford F.C. from 1921 until 1992, and was also used by Maidstone United during their time in the Football League.

Association football Team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

Dartford town in Kent, England

Dartford is the principal town in the Borough of Dartford, Kent, England. It is located 18 miles south-east of Central London, and is situated adjacent to the London Borough of Bexley to its west. To its north, across the Thames estuary, is Thurrock in Essex, which can be reached via the Dartford Crossing.

Watling Street ancient trackway

Watling Street is a route in England that began as an ancient trackway first used by the Britons, mainly between the areas of modern Canterbury and St Albans using a natural ford near Westminster. The Romans later paved the route, which then connected the Kentish ports of Dubris (Dover), Rutupiae (Richborough), Lemanis (Lympne), and Regulbium (Reculver) to their bridge over the Thames at Londinium (London). The route continued northwest past Verulamium (St Albans) on its way to Viroconium (Wroxeter). The Romans considered the continuation on to Blatobulgium (Birrens) beyond Hadrian's Wall to be part of the same route, leading some scholars to call this Watling Street as well, although others restrict it to the southern leg.

History

Dartford F.C. purchased the five acre site of Watling Street in 1921 for £1,000. [1] A seated stand on the western touchline was built for £3,000, [1] with banking installed around the rest of the pitch. [2] In 1926 the stand burnt down and a 1,000-seat stand was built in its place, with a covered enclosure added on the eastern touchline in 1930. Terracing was installed behind the southern goal in 1947, [1] and later in front of the western stand. [2]

In 1988 Maidstone United moved to Watling Street after selling their Athletic Ground to MFI. They won the Football Conference in 1988–89 and were promoted to the Fourth Division of the Football League. The first Football League match played at Watling Street on 26 August 1989 saw Maidstone beat Scarborough 4–1 in front of 3,372 spectators. [2]

MFI Group

MFI Group Limited was a British furniture retailer, operating under the MFI brand. The company was one of the largest suppliers of kitchens and bedroom furniture in the United Kingdom, and operated mainly in retail parks in out of town locations. Anecdotally, it was said at one stage that one in three Sunday lunches in the United Kingdom were cooked in a kitchen from MFI, and 60% of British children were conceived in a bedroom from MFI.

The Football Conference season of 1988–89 was the tenth season of the Football Conference.

Scarborough F.C. association football club

Scarborough Football Club were an association football club based in the seaside resort of Scarborough, North Yorkshire. They were one of the oldest football clubs in England, formed in 1879, before they were wound up on 20 June 2007, with debts of £2.5 million.

Due to financial problems, the club folded at the start of the 1992–93 season. The last Football League match had been played at the ground on 25 April 1992, with just 1,602 watching a 0–0 draw with Mansfield Town. Maidstone's demise also led to Dartford folding. The ground improvements made by Maidstone were sold to Dartford for around £500,000, which pushed the club's debt too far. [1] Watling Street was sold to pay off creditors, [1] and immediately demolished, with the site used for housing. [2] The site is now Cugley Road, Burman Close and Horsfield Close (which are named after Dartford players), and The Terraces.

The 1992–1993 season was the 94th completed season of the Football League.

Mansfield Town F.C. association football club

Mansfield Town Football Club is a professional football club based in the town of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England. The team compete in League Two, the fourth tier of the English football league system. Nicknamed 'The Stags', they play in a royal blue and amber kit. Since 1919, Mansfield have played at Field Mill, which is now an all-seater stadium with a capacity of 9,186. Their main rivals are Chesterfield and Notts County.

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Dartford F.C. English football club

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The original Maidstone United was an English football club from Maidstone, Kent, which existed from 1897 to 1992. The club played in the Football League Fourth Division from 1989 until their demise in 1992. During their time in the Football League Maidstone played their games at Dartford's Watling Street ground. The club also played in various amateur leagues and the Southern League, which was the major semi-professional league in southern England until the formation of the Alliance Premier League in 1979.

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Ground of the week: Watling Street BBC London, 24 June 2006
  2. 1 2 3 4 Paul Smith & Shirley Smith (2005) The Ultimate Directory of English & Scottish Football League Grounds Second Edition 1888–2005, Yore Publications, p141, ISBN   0954783042