(c) 2007 Clarets Museum Copyright
Turf Moor today stands on the threshold of a new £30 million
renovation that will see a new stand built and a Football University
housed next door, but it started off as a large grassy field and a coal
pit during the heady days of the industrial revolution that took hold of
the small town Of Burnley in the 1800's., which was procured by
Burnley Cricket Club in 1833, and became their home.

In September 1883, the Cricket Club extended an invitation to the
newly formed Burnley Football Club, who had been playing at
Calder Vale. The Club stumped up the £65 costs to move, and thus
Turf Moor became the home of Burnley FC.

Burnley's first game was to play local side Rowtenstall, who
proceeded to beat Burnley, 6-3. Turf Moor was little more than a
large field at this time, with a large natural mound where many
supporters watched the game from. It could also be noted that the
pitch sloped to one side a trait that would take almost a century to

Just over a year after occupying Turf Moor, the club paid out for a
seated grandstand that could accommodate about 800 fans, along
with a two sided uncovered terrace which could hold another 5,000
as football took hold in the small town.

In 1886, Prince Albert became the first member of the Royal Family
to visit a football ground, when whilst opening the Victoria Hospital
in Burnley, he visited Turf Moor, and viewed the first half of a game
between Burnley and Bolton.

The club in 1908 then built two new covered stands to help shelter
supporters the incline Lancashire weather, that ran along both
lengths of the pitch, the Brunshaw Lane Stand, which used to stand
where the Bob Lord Stand does now, and the Star Stand, where the
James Hargreaves Stand is built today. A year later the added a
roof to the Cricket Field Stand.

During a third round FA Cup tie on 24 February 1924 between
Burnley and Huddersfield Town, Turf Moor was filled with it's highest
ever attendance, with 54,755 people turning up to watch the game.

On 25 March 1922, Turf Moor played host to it's only FA Cup Semi
Final when Huddersfield beat Notts County 3-1, The Turf Moor pitch
was initially deemed too short by the FA to stage the FA Cup Semi
Final, so it was lengthened by 4 yards to 115 Yards, the extra
dimensions being added to the Bee Hole End. It was then
shortened to it original length in time for Burnley's next home game.

In 1927 Turf Moor played host to it's first and only full international
game, when England entertained Wales, within the ranks of England
players that day were two Burnley players, Louis Page and Jack Hill
(who captained the side). Arthur Sutcliffe, a Burnley director also
managed the England side that day. Sadly England lost 2-1, and Hill
scored an own goal.

The famous Longside was finally finished in 1954, with a roof being
fitted to the stand costing around £20,000, and many of the youth,
would have put both blood and tears into that stand, as they were
the ones who helped construct it. The Longside had replaced the
Star Stand in the years between the World Wars, but only the lower
areas of the stand were concreted, this had changed by 1954, when
the remainder of the stand was concreted over and the roof fitted. At
the same time the club installed floodlights, with the first game to be
played under floodlight to be the friendly with local rivals, Blackburn

During the Sixties, the Bee Hole End was renovated, increasing it's
size by adding a top layer to the stand, it remained uncovered until it
was demolished 30 years later. It could not have a roof added, as
the foundations where built on the old Bee Hole Mine, and would not
be able to hold the extra weight. There was a old wives tale that the
stand itself moved due to the jubilations of supporters, after a
Burnley goal during a game in the sixties

Next for renovation was the Cricket Field Stand which was re-built in
1969 at a cost of £180,000. The new stand which still stand today,
was built to house the changing rooms for both home and away
teams, bath area and referee changing rooms. It was at it's time one
of he most advanced stands in the world, and an oil based central
heating system had been installed to keep supporters warm during
games, it was devised that hot air would be circulated around the
stand and into pipes which would lead directly to the area around
the feet of supporters. This idea  dropped with two years when it
proved to costly. The stand which gave Turf Moor a unique look as
players entered the field of play from behind the goals, instead of at
the half way line was opened by the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire.

Chairman Bob Lord then devised the total re-development of Turf
Moor and it's surrounding area, he stated that he wanted to buy the
Cricket Ground, and establish a stadium village, which would
contain a hotel and the biggest night club in Lancashire. By 1970 he
had managed to buy a small strip of land that ran along the length of
Brunshaw Road, where a number of retail outlets were to be
housed, and a 360 ft area behind the Cricket Field Stand to
re-situate the flood lights, but his plans at buying out the Cricket
Club fell on deaf ears and his plans never materialised, the strip of
land which ran the length of Brunshaw Road was made into a car

Bob Lord wasn't satisfied there, and in 1974 he paid for the relaying
of the Turf Moor pitch, which incorporated new drainage
technology, the pitch was raised and the slope that been an ever
present since the club had arrived at Turf Moor was removed. He
then replaced the Brunshaw Road stand, with a new all seater stand
named after himself, which was opened in 1974 by the then Prime
Minister Edward Heath. The stand would hold 2,800 supporters and
cost £480,000 and contained the board room and a number of
luxurious seats for Burnley's and visiting Clubs directors.

After the Taylor Report had stated all grounds must become all
seater stadiums, the Longside and Bee Hole stands' days were
numbered, and in 1994 the club announced the redevelopment of
the two standing areas.

In September 1995, the Longside watched it's final game, and it
was demolished and a new stand, the James Hargreaves Stand (it
was originally named the North Stand), built in it's stead. By April
1996, the stand was ready and then work began on the Bee Hole
End. The new "twin" two tier stands cost £5.3 million, and the whole
ground was re opened, with it's newest stand named the Jimmy
McIlroy stand, in September 1996.

In May 2007, Turf Moor hosted the England B v Albania friendly
international, and although the game was not officially recognised
as a full international, a number of England first team players played
in the game, including England's all time top competitive goal
scorer, Michael Owen.

It was clear though that if the club was to maintain it's push for
Premier League football, the ground would have to evolve and come
in to line with some of the new stadiums being built across the North
West. Ewood Park, and Deepdale had recently had a complete
overalls, Bolton, Manchester City and Wigan had both moved to
status built stadiums, and teams like Manchester United and
Liverpool had increased their capacities hugely. So in June 2007,
the club announced a new £20 million single tier stand to replace
the aging Cricket Field Stand housing corporate boxes, a hotel,
business centre, gymnasium and cricket pavilion. A multi-storey car
park was also announced, to be built on Harry Potts Way.

A new players' dressing rooms and hospitality block would be built
between the Jimmy McIlroy and James Hargreaves Stands at a cost
of approximately £1.25m. The three tier, glass-fronted building
would house Premiership facilities and a fully furnished media suite.
A new two storey retail sports store on the approach to Turf Moor on
Harry Potts Way would replace the car park, and be in line with Bob
Lords original plans for Turf Moor, over 40 years after they were first

Turf Moor is one of the oldest football grounds in the world, and with
the new developments, the ground will been given a new lease of
Turf Moor around 1900, You can see both the new covered stands on ether side of the pitch
The Star Stand can be seen with a roof attached
Turf Moor around 1930
The Longside
View from Cricket Field Stand
James Hargreaves Stand
A full James Hargreaves Stand