Table of Contents
Ground Guide by Cricket Tripper
Situated in the district of Ashley Down in Bristol (England), this County Cricket Ground is also known as Nevil Road. It is home to Gloucestershire County Cricket Club and has been since the beginning. The ground was bought in 1889 by W. G. Grace and was originally known as Ashley Down Ground. When it was sold to local confectionery firm, J. S. Fry and Sons, the name changed to Fry’s Ground. Another change of hands came in 1976, this time to Royal and Sun Alliance who renamed the ground (yet again), Phoenix County Ground for the first eight years of their ownership, then The Royal and Sun Alliance County Ground. Eventually the club bought the ground, and the ground took its most current name. In comparison to other grounds, Bristol County Cricket Ground has long boundaries, making it harder for big hitter batsmen to score highly off.
Despite the confusing number of name changes, the Bristol County Cricket Ground hosts One Day Internationals usually once per year. To cope with this event, there is usually an addition of temporary seating to increase the ground’s capacity. In 2018, England faced India at the ground. A year later they faced Pakistan at Bristol County Cricket Ground. This ground also hosted three games of the 2019 Cricket World Cup, but unfortunately, two of the three were abandoned without a ball being bowled due to bad weather. The match that did occur was Australia against Afghanistan, where Australia won by a landslide of seven wickets.
Originally the public terraces, that spectators could watch from, had a concrete roof. Now abolished, its cover is made from eight hyperbolic-paraboloid umbrellas, each of which are about 30 feet square. This was designed by T. H. B Burrough in 1960. Redevelopment of the ground continued into the 21st century. In July 2009, Gloucestershire County Cricket Club announced plans to turn the ground into a stadium that could seat 20,000 with an aim of retaining one day international status. In 2010, Bristol County Council approved the plans and the redevelopments began. The redevelopment included the building of a world class media centre and facilities to allow conferences and club officials to work. To help fund the project, student accommodation was included in the plans. The plans were adjusted in 2011 after concerns raised by local residents about the effects that the permanent stands at the boundary of their properties on Kennington Avenue would have. This reduced to permanent capacity of the stadium to 7,500 and increased the temporary seating to be able to hold 17,500 spectators. The new pavilion, conference centre facilities, (now reduce capacity) permanent stands and 147 apartments within three blocks, all went ahead as planned and were approved in March 2012. Permanent floodlights were approved in April 2015 by Bristol City Council and allowed Bristol County Cricket Ground to host the World Cup matches of 2019.
Overall, Bristol County Cricket Ground is a fairly new ground, with many of its redevelopments being made in the last decade or so. However, this ground should not be dismissed as an international cricket-ready ground of a high quality.
Visiting the Ground - Travel
The Bristol County Ground can be found just to the north of the City Center.
The Satnav address is BS7 9EJ. The club strongly advises that people don’t drive to the stadium as there is limited parking both at and around the ground. There is sometimes space at the City of Bristol College car park off Ashley Down road, but often go quickly. There will always be plenty of parking spaces around Bristol, but it depends how far you are willing to walk to the ground. For this reason, Bristol recommends public transport.
Train - Public Transport
The nearest train station is Montpelier, which about a 20 minute walk from the ground. There are also buses running to the ground from the station if you don’t fancy the walk. The train station has great links north, east and south making travelling to Bristol easy from the rest of Britain. Most train routes will take you to Bristol Temple Meads Train station which you’ll need to get off and change to get to Montpelier, or you could get a bus to taxi to the stadium from there, as it’s about 15 minutes drive from the station.
Airports and Flying
Bristol has its own airport which is the closes to the ground, but you find more frequent flights from airports in London. The airport is around 30-minute drive from the ground, and there are regular buses to get there as well.