Hungerford Town

Bulpit Lane

Capacity: 1,500 (Seats 400)
Address: Hungerford, Berkshire. RG17 0AY
Telephone: 01488 683939
Pitch Size: To be advised
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: The Crusaders
Year Ground Opened: 1886
Undersoil Heating: No
Home Kit: White and Black

East (Main) Stand
East (Main) Stand
West Stand
West Stand
Main Entrance
Main Entrance

Bulpit Lane is a rather disjointed ground made up of several small stands (none of which dominate) plus a number of uncovered standing areas. The ground is small and functional but with few features of note other than the turnstiles and HTFC spelt out on the entrance gates. Nevertheless it occupies a pleasant position in a quiet corner of town next to the town's cricket pitch.  

There are two entrance turnstiles in the southwest corner of the ground which once negotiated give access to all parts of the stadium. The end nearest the entrance turnstiles, the Bulpit Lane End, houses the changing rooms and the catering/club bar, the brick buildings of which back on to this end. In front is a small walkway which is used as a flat standing area by fans and has only a small cover. To the left as you enter is the West Stand. This small covered seated stand, sits astride the half way line and has five rows, comprising at total of 124 seats. On either side of the West Stand are flat standing areas, although there is a small covered covered area towards the North End.

The North End of the ground is mainly taken up by the Ron Tarry Stand named after the current President of the club and former Hungerford Mayor. This is another small covered standing enclosure. Either side of this stand are new concreted, slightly raised single steps. The East side of the ground backs onto the ancient and very delightful Hungerford Common. Here cattle exercise their historic grazing rights and roam freely. This side looks similar to the West having a small covered seated stand with 176 seats straddling the halfway line. There are 7 pillars that get in the way. To the North and South ends of the East side a single one step concrete standing area has been constructed. A new small covered seated stand has been installed to the south of the East (Main) Stand. Although it comprises only four rows containing around 100 seats, it is raised above pitch level, although there are some safety railings in front. The basic looking team dugouts are located to the front on each side of this stand.

In the North East corner of the ground is a large ugly looking radio mast which overlooks the stadium, whilst in the South East corner there is another smaller but equally as ugly radio mast. Both these have floodlights attached. In the South West corner there is another mast, probably for mobile phones. This has a single floodlight attached, which is rather low down and can be annoying when looking in that direction. The ground has a set of six thin floodlight pylons, four of which run down the West side of the ground, whilst there are two on the other side, flanking the East Stand. To try to combat the noticeable dimness in each goalmouth there are a pair of lights on the roof of the enclosures behind each goal. Despite all these lights the illumination is not very good. There is also a slight slope to the pitch that runs down from the North to the South End.

With promotion to the dizzy heights of National League South, the ground will I hope receive some extra tlc. befitting of a higher status. The 'small club'  label is no longer appropriate. On match days there is plenty of catering dispensed from the catering hut near the club bar. There is unlikely to be any segregation so expect free and easy access to all parts of the ground.

There is a clubhouse inside the ground which welcomes visiting supporters. The nearest pub to the ground is the Borough Arms on the High Street, which is around a ten minute walk away. More or less across the road from the Borough Arms is a handy fish and chip shop. There are plenty of other pubs and eating establishments dotted further along the High Street. If arriving by train then just outside the station is a Fullers pub called the Railway Tavern. If you have a bit more time on your hands then at the end of the High Street over the river bridge and up on the right is the John O'Gaunt pub, which is listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.

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If you require hotel accommodation in Hungerford then first try a hotel booking service provided by Late Rooms. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will earn a small commission if you book through them, but it will go to help with the running costs of keeping the Guide going. The Hotels listing also includes details of how far away the accommodation is located from the centre of Hungerford.

Access their Hungerford Hotels and Guest Houses pages.

Leave the M4 at junction 14 and take the A338 towards Hungerford. On entering Hungerford you will find a roundabout where you take the second exit towards the Town Centre and Marlborough (A4). At the next roundabout take the first exit continuing towards Marlborough and then at the next roundabout take the first exit towards Town Centre/Salisbury (A338). Continue straight on passing through the town centre and after about one mile turn left at the mini roundabout onto Priory Road (signposted Town Football Club). Then take the third left into Bulpit Lane. After going straight ahead at the crossroads you will reach the ground entrance on your left (by the children's playground). There is little parking available at the ground itself, but there is plenty of on street parking available in the local area.

Hungerford Railway Station is located around three quarters of a mile from Bulpit Lane or around a 15 minute walk. It is served by trains from London Paddington, which operates an hourly service on Saturday afternoons. 

On leaving the train station walk up to the Railway Tavern pub. Turn left at the pub and at the top of the hill turn right then first left into Fairview Road. Continue up past Hungerford Primary School and the One Stop shop on your left, then take the second left into Bulpit Lane. The entrance to the ground is a short way down on the left. 

Booking train tickets in advance will normally save you money! Find train times, prices and book tickets with Trainline. Visit the website below to see how much you can save on the price of your tickets:

Adults £12
Concessions £6
Under 16's Free

Concessions apply to Over 60's, Students, the Disabled and serving members of the Armed Forces or Emergency Services (Valid ID may need to be shown for proof of status).

Official matchday programme £2.

Hungerford Town FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website).

Chippenham Town, Basingstoke Town, Maidenhead United and Oxford City.

Record Attendance
1,363 v Leamington, May 2nd 2016
Southern Premier League Play Off Final

Average Attendance
2015-2016: 149 (Southern Premier League)

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, then please e-mail me at: duncan@footballgrounds.net and I'll update the guide.

Special thanks to Myles Munsey for providing the photos and information about Bulpit Lane Hungerford Town for this page.

Hungerford Town v Weston-super-Mare
National League South    
Monday 20th March 2017, 7.45pm
Brian Scott (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Bulpit Lane ground itself?

I had noticed that Hungerford were playing on a Monday night and I used that fact to combine a visit to Poole Town the following evening, staying overnight in the two towns. I was also looking forward to my visit to the town itself with the railway and canal running through it, together with it's history.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

I had an easy journey down by train arriving late afternoon and checked into my Bed and Breakfast. In lovely spring weather I had a look around the town walking along the bank of the canal from the Church to the main street, arriving at The Bear Inn.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

After a meal in The Bear, I made my way uphill to the ground arriving early enough to check out the facilities, such as they are.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Bulpit Lane Ground?

Once inside the Bulpit Lane Ground I had a good look around. The clubhouse is the best part of the stadium and I know that earns money from functions as my B&B owner said she and her husband were attending a function there soon. Apparently they know Ron Tarry a former Hungerford Mayor. To be honest I found the whole ground very depressing indeed. Some work is currently underway to improve the facilities with increased concreted standing areas and a brand new stand being constructed at the south end of the east side. A local told me that it is to be finished within this week and he thought that it was going to have seats. I found it to be quite muddy when walking around the perimeter of the ground.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Weston scored early on and at half time they were still in the lead. It was clear to me that a Hungerford defender was blinded by the floodlights as the cross came in as he held his hand up to shield his eyes. In the second half Hungerford managed to get the equaliser, which was followed by a penalty which was converted. I thought that they were lucky to win. It finished 2-1 The fact that there was some minor crowd trouble after this was surprising. Stewards rushed to the North Stand to separate the rival fans, and that was the end of that.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

I had a ten minute walk to my Bed and Breakfast which was in the very north end of town in a very quiet dead-end road overlooking fields.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Hungerford was a very pleasant visit to this attractive town. Well worth anyone arriving early to have a look round, and don't miss the canal.

Hungerford Town v Bishop's Stortford
National League South
Saturday 11th February 2017, 3pm
Andrew Wood (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Bulpit Lane Ground? 

I have inadvertently done most of the grounds in this division, so decided to add this one!

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Journey by train from London just over an hour, and an hourly service to and from London, so relatively easy. Hungerford is a small town, so ground is easy to find. Up the hill from train station, over the road, carry on North through an estate toward Hungerford common, and you're there. Town centre close by if you need ale or food, as nothing else in the vicinity.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

I got to the Bulpit Lane ground at approximately. 2.15pm, so little to do other than visit the clubhouse. Good choice of ales at reasonable price, friendly staff, and you're ok to bring food in from burger bar, which was just as well, as it was a cold day. Sky Sports on screens also. Everyone I spoke to seemed friendly, and well done to Bishop's Stortford away support of a dozen or so. Long way to travel in poor weather when your team are struggling.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Bulpit Lane Ground?

My first impressions were I that thought that the Bulpit Lane Ground looked a little bizarre! There are two stands alongside each side of pitch. One was apparently new(ish) but hard to tell which. Several covered tin sheds around the ground made up the terracing, one along each side, and a slightly larger one behind one goal. Behind the other goal is the clubhouse/snack bar.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Hungerford were fourth, and Bishop's Stortford next to bottom at kick off. Bishop's Stortford started the brighter and won a penalty early on, which was well taken but hit the bar. Hungerford gradually took control and won the game with two clinical finishes, which was the difference between the two teams. Bishop's Stortford simply had nothing up front. There was no real atmosphere indie the ground. The crowd of 216 were too busy trying to keep warm and dry in a mini blizzard. Food was okay, burger at £3.50 edible, as were the chips and curry sauce at £2.50. Only loos seem to be in the clubhouse, and were clean enough, but wouldn't want to be here in a big crowd, as only 3 or 4 people could use these loos at any one time.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Easy enough.15 minute walk back to station, no train for 45 minutes, so warmed up in the pub opposite the station which sells Fullers ales so okay by me, if somewhat pricey.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Bulpit Lane is a proper old fashioned non league ground, and will be interested to see if they're allowed promotion to the National League, should they make it as neither the ground or the pitch seem up to the required standard, so fair play to Hungerford for punching above their weight. It was a nice day out, but the weather was awful, which detracted from the game somewhat, but I'd maybe go again in hopefully nicer weather.

Hungerford Town v Leamington
Southern Premier League Play-off Final 3.00pm
Monday May 2nd 2016, 3pm
Myles Munsey (Ground hopper)

Reasons for visit
Living only up the road so to speak, and with Hungerford close to making their own little bit of history, I had to be there. Football in West Berkshire has been in decline of late with local clubs Newbury and Thatcham not performing that well. I was really hoping that Hungerford could gain promotion as to see this little club, from a town once blighted by tragedy, reach Vanarama South and thus qualify for inclusion in this guide really would be quite something.

Getting there
Hungerford Town is now easily the nearest club in the guide to my home town of Newbury, being just two stops along the Kennet Valley by train and a mere eight miles away. So close in fact that I could cycle there! The 13.10 train from Newbury had me there in ample time and from Hungerford station to the ground is about 20 minutes’ walk.

First impressions
The Bulpit Lane football ground has a pleasant, relaxed feel to it being one of several at this level located at the edge of town in a quiet residential district. It stands alongside the town’s cricket ground and a children’s playground. Inside, the ground is a rather strange mixture of diminutive stands and tiny covered standing areas. There are covered, seated stands on both the east and west sides straddling the halfway line. The north side has a small covered (unseated) stand called the Ron Tarry stand named after the town’s mayor who held that position during the dreadful events of 1987. He is now the club’s president. The stands are basic and will need some TLC for the Vanarama South League one imagines, but on a wet afternoon they did a fine job of keeping me dry.

The Teams Line Up Before Kick Off

Hungerford v Leamington Team Line Ups

There is a slightly surreal aspect to Bulpit Lane overlooked as it is by bedroom windows. To the east, if you crane your neck over the wall, are open views of Hungerford Common where cattle uphold their ancient grazing rights and roam free. Two rather unattractive radio masts occupy this side of the ground.

On the south side where the sole entrance is through two turnstiles, are the club offices and changing rooms. It is uncovered standing room only here.
There was a well patronised club bar and next to that was Hungerford Town’s catering facility. Sample prices:

Tea, coffee, Bovril £1.50
Chips £1.50
Sausage and chips £2.50
Hot dog £2.50
Burger £2.50
Double burger £3.50
Cheeseburger £3.00
Double cheeseburger £4.50

On the west side of the ground an open doorway in a wooden fence led into someone’s back garden (is this some sort of private arrangement?), but overall the ground is well appointed and appropriate for the level of football it supports. It would be nice to see a bit more blue paint applied round the ground to reinforce identity and to eliminate a few of the drab bits.

Before the game
The corner store along Fairview Road provided enough sustenance before the game, and a pleasant seat on a bench along the path leading towards the cricket ground was the chosen location. I didn’t linger, as rain was in the air and this duly arrived just as I entered the ground.

The game
I took up position on the east side in the covered stand. With a large following seats were scarce so I ended up at the back of the stand next to a reporter doing a broadcast for a Coventry radio station. He had an interesting looking clipboard full of stats and I had free commentary! 

By the time the game started the rain was pelting down in earnest so I was glad of anywhere under cover. This wasn’t the cagey game I was expecting, neither was it especially eventful. The wet and windy squalls didn’t help and both teams struggled to put together much in the way of cohesive play. That said, it was entertaining enough, ramped up of course by the sense of anticipation. After 21 minutes a Leamington corner was only half-cleared and in the resulting melee Baker-Richardson powered the ball into the roof of the net to put the Brakes ahead. I had a sense of the game slipping away from the home side, that is a superb ball threaded through by Matt Day caught Leamington square and Stefan Brown’s assured finish on 64 minutes put Hungerford level. With their tails now very firmly up Hungerford looked the more likely and the magic moment arrived with just five minutes left. Garyn Prees’ well delivered corner was glanced home by Mike Jones and the place erupted. The 5 added minutes weren’t exactly popular but there were no more scares and Hungerford were promoted. 

The Celebrations Begin On The Pitch

Crowd celebrations

Getting away
It was actually took a while to exit the ground owing to an exuberant crowd blocking the areas round the changing rooms and supporters club. Well you can’t blame them. But once out of the ground it was a gentle stroll down the hill to the railway station. The sun had come out again by then. 

Overall thoughts
On the same day that Leicester City won the Premier League, Hungerford Town achieved their own little bit of history down in sleepy West Berkshire and will soon be rubbing shoulders with the likes of Oxford City. I was glad to have been there. The 1,363 attendance was around 10 times the norm. Extraordinary!

Why not write your own review of Bulpit Lane Hungerford Town and have it included in the Guide? Find out more about submitting a Fans Football Ground Review.

Updated 11th April 2017

If you enjoy using this Guide and have found it useful, then please feel free to show your appreciation by buying Duncan the author of the Guide a pint

£3.60

If you enjoy using this Guide and have found it useful, then please feel free to show your appreciation by buying Duncan the author of the Guide a pint

£3.60

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