Club: Northampton Saints
Ground Opened: 1888
Stadium Name: Franklins Gardens
Northamptonshire NN5 5BG
Telephone: 01604 751543
Fax: 01604 599110
Club Web Site:
Home Colours: Black, Green and Gold
Away Colours: Light Green.
League (2016/17): Aviva Premiership
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Franklin's Gardens - A History
The Gardens,originally known as Melbourne Gardens,was created by John Collier,and after his death in 1886, were bought by John Franklin, a successful hotelier, who renamed them Franklin's Gardens the following year.
In 1888 the Gardens was sold for £17,000 to the Northampton Brewery Company, who started making extensive improvements, including a running track, a cricket ground - and a bear pit. Franklin's Gardens was described as the "Champs Elysees of Northampton". Home matches began in Abbey Fields, next door to Franklin's Gardens, and it wasn't until the late 1880's that the Saints moved to Franklin's Gardens.
At the end of the 1896/97 season a new stand was built, costing £45 5s. It was carpeted and reserved for members paying 10s 6d for season tickets. Ladies got away with paying only five shillings.
In the 1920's £6,000 was spent building the Members' Stand, and it lasted until replaced by the Church's Stand in 2002. The 1966/67 season kicked off with the opening of the Peter Haddon-designed Gordon Sturtridge Pavilion. Today this is made up entirely of Corporate Boxes, and is an area being considered for redelopment.
During the 1976/77 season the club acquired a four-acre training pitch on a 60-year lease at the back of the ground and in November 1977 bought Franklin's Gardens outright for £30,000. During the 1990's a raft of temporary stands increased the capacity to 10,000 , then from 2001 the stadium underwent a complete re-build.The Tetley's and South Stands were opened formally by Ian McGeechan, with the horseshoe-shaped stadium completed in the summer of 2002 with the building of the Church's Stand. More development was to come in 2005 when an extension to the South Stand brought the capacity up to 13,591.
Last Updated July 2016
Copyright Miles & Miles Publishing 2016