Brunton Park: Carlisle United

Warwick Road, Carlisle, Cumbria, England, CA1 1LL
Rose and Trev Clough [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Carlisle United’s history dates all the way back to 1904 when the club was formed after the members of Shaddongate United voted to change the name at their Annual General Meeting. For five years they played their games firstly at Milholme Bank and latterly at Devonshire Park. In 1909 they moved to the newly built Brunton Park, the stadium that they have called their home ever since.

It’s fair to say that both Carlisle as a club and Brunton Park as a stadium have enjoyed a varied history over the years. The ground in particular has been through the mill, with the grandstand burning down in 1953 and the stadium flooding completely on two separate occasions in recent years. Brunton Park is the largest not-all-seated ground in England, though the flooding has reduced its capacity in recent times because of safety concerns.

Stats

Brunton Park Stats
Year Opened1909
Capacity17,949
Average Attendance4,519
Record Attendance27,500 (Carlisle v Birmingham (1957))
Pitch Size104 x 67 (6968)
OwnerCarlisle United
Clubs HostedCarlisle United
First FixtureCarlisle United v Newcastle United (02/09/1909)
Carlisle United Stats
Year Founded1904
NicknameCumbrians, The Blues
Club MascotOlga the Fox
RivalsWorkington, Gretna, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool United
Previous StadiumsMillholme Bank, Devonshire Park
KitBlue & White (Home) / Black & Yellow (Away)
Training GroundSheepmount Athletics Stadium
Shirt SponsorEdinburgh Woollen Mill
Team OwnerAndrew Jenkins, Steven Pattison and John Nixon
Record GoalscorerJimmy McConnell (126)
Record AppearancesAlan Ross (466)

Brunton Park Photos

Brunton Park Seating Plan & Where to Sit

By Carlisleprogrammes (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

There are four stands at the ground that run along each side of the pitch. The West Stand is a combination of seating and terracing and is considered to be the main stand in the stadium, with the upper tier serving as the dedicated family section. The Warwick Road End is where the most vocal supporters go, whilst The East "Pioneer Food" Stand is where the away supporters are normally housed. Finally, The Waterworks End, or the Petteril End as it’s also known, is typically left closed unless big crowds are expected.

Carlisle United Ticket Prices

Because the stadium has both seating areas and terraced sections the amount of money you’ll pay to attend Carlisle games varies depending on where in the ground you want to go. You’ll also be able to get your tickets slightly cheaper if you buy them in advance. Presuming that you want to buy tickets on the day of the game, however, you’ll only pay about £3 more. Below are the prices for adults and concessions when bought in advance and on match day respectively, with prices for both terraced and seated tickets displayed:

  • Adults: £16.00-£19.00 / £19.00-£22.00
  • Concessions: £13.00-£16.00 / £16.00-£19.00

How To Get Carlisle United Tickets

Carlisle United tickets are available online, over the phone, at the ground on the day of the game or by going to the ticket office in person from 10am until 5pm on weekdays. There are various extra charges depending on how you buy your ticket, but none of them will cost more than £1.00

Where to Buy

Getting To Brunton Park

Carlisle is directly below Scotland, so it’s not exactly an easy journey if you’re heading there from down South. There’s a cracking castle you can go and look around though, so every cloud…

Train - Carlisle Citadel Station is in the centre of the town and is a short walk from the ground. It is served by West Coast Mainline trains and takes between three and a quarter hours and four and a half hours to get to from Euston.

Bus - Since the ground is really close to the centre of Carlisle there aren’t really any obvious bus routes worth mentioning.

Car - Take the M6 until Junction 43 and get on the A69 then follow the signs, it's not too tricky.

By Air - Newcastle Airport is the closest international airport to Carlisle and flies to destinations such as Dubai, Palma and Amsterdam.

Taxi - Taxis from the train station to the ground will cost about £5 and take the same number of minutes.

Parking Near Brunton Park

There is a car park behind one of the stands that is available for £2.50 per car.

Useful Resources

Brunton Park Hotels

Carlisle is on the border with Scotland, so it’s well prepared for weary travelers needing to stop over on their way up or down the United Kingdom. Here are some of the hotels we think you’ll want to consider:

Days Inn Gretna Green - £50+

Welcome Break Service Station, Area A7, Gretna
About ten miles from the stadium is this Days Inn hotel that is part of the service station in Gretna in Scotland. Don't let that put you off though; it has a restaurant, free Wi-fI in the public areas, free parking and a garden. More details.

County Hotel - £65+

9 Botchergate, Carlisle, CA1 1QP
Less than a mile from Brunton Park is this old style hotel with a restaurant, a bar, free Wi-Fi and free parking. There are also meeting rooms and digital TVs in the bedrooms.
More details.

Hallmark Hotel - £85+

Court Square, Carlisle, CA1 1QY
Right next to Carlisle train station is this Victorian style building that offers free Wi-Fi, flatscreen TVs in the rooms and tea and coffee making facilities. There’s also a brasserie, a wine bar, five meeting rooms and free parking. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near Brunton Park

Carlisle is an… interesting town. The local theatre is basically inside the basketball court at the leisure centre, for example, which is an odd choice. Still, the interesting towns are often the ones with the best boozers, so here are some of our favourites that aren't in the middle of sports centre's:

Carlisle Rugby Club

The Rugby Ground, Warwick Road, Carlisle, CA1 1LW (01228 521 300)
The bar at Carlisle Rugby Club is a family friendly place that welcomes both sets of fans and promises a good atmosphere. It’s got a good selection of drinks and bar snacks and, as you’d expect at a rugby club, loads of TVs for live sport.

The Beehive

Warwick Road, Carlisle, CA1 1LH (01228 549731)
The Beehive describes itself as a ‘classic' pub, so you can decide for yourself what that means. It’s got loads of TVs and the right to show live sports, a good menu and a strong selection of real ales too if you like that sort of thing. It’s also really close to the ground.

The Howard Arms

107 Lowther Street, Carlisle, CA3 8ED (01228 532 926)
The Howard Arms is close the the train station in the centre of Carlisle. It’s got loads of great ales and a delicious menu of specials and home made food. Perfect for a pre-match pint and bite to eat.

Facilities

The facilities here are quite good, with most views of the pitch being uninterrupted. It’s all fairly standard stuff for a team in the lower section of the Football League, mind.

Prices

  • Programme: 2.00
  • Pie: 2.60
  • Cup of tea: 1.50

Hospitality

Rose and Trev Clough [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Hospitality comes in a few different packages at Brunton Park, with Foxy’s Restaurant being the standard package. You can enjoy a two or three course pre-match meal that will have a particular theme, such as Thai and Indian cuisine, as well as access to a private cash bar. They like running with themes at Carlisle it seems, because they also offer themed entertainment and festive events after certain matches. Plus, if it's a special occasion you can upgrade to the celebration package and bag a signed club football, personalised birthday cake and a free drink on arrival. You could opt for the Legends Lounge instead if you want to spend a little less, with a two course meal, half time refreshments and tickets for the main stand included.

Private Hire

Both Foxy’s Restaurant and the Legends Lounge are available for private events. Business meetings, birthday parties, conferences and banquets have all been hosted by the club in the past, as have civil wedding and wedding breakfasts.

Stadium Tours & Museum

It is not possible to tour Brunton Park at the time of writing and the club does not have a museum.

About Carlisle United

By Jameboy (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Carlisle United have enjoyed some great successes over the years by the standards of a small club. When they played in the First Division in the 1974-1975 season they ensured that the city of Carlisle became the smallest place as far as population is concerned to host top-flight football since 1906. Heady days indeed. From 1949 until 1951 the club was managed by a chap called Bill Shankly. It was his first managerial position and though he didn’t go on to stoke the fires of success at Brunton Park, he did turn Liverpool Football Club into a force to be reckoned with.

The Cumbrian's links to Liverpool don’t stop there. When the club’s Grandstand burnt down in 1953 it looked as though financial problems were going to stop them from re-building it. However they sold their player Geoff Twentyman to the Merseyside club for £12,500 and were able to build The West Stand as we know it today. Twentyman went on to become one of Liverpool’s greatest ever scouts, though, so maybe they got the past part of the deal after all.

Brunton Park History

Carlisle United 2 - 1 Oxford United in 1981 - Steve Daniels [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Having begun life playing their games at Milholme Bank, Carlisle United soon found that that ground was too small for their needs. They moved to Devonshire Park in 1905 but were evicted from it by the Duke of Devonshire in 1909, so they needed somewhere new to play their games. Thus it was that Carlisle began to call Brunton Park their home. The stadium has endured its fair share of problems over the years, starting with the above mentioned Grandstand fire.

The fire was caused by an electrical fault and resulted in the entire Grandstand burning to the ground. They could have done with a vast amount of water to stop the fire from taking hold at the time, so it’s ironic that in 2005 the entire stadium was flooded when the rivers Eden, Caldew and Petteril burst their banks. The club played their home games at Christie Park in Morecambe whilst the ground was fixed, but ten years later the problem returned. Storm Desmond caused the flooding of Brunton Park in November and December 2015.

Future Developments

By Carlisleprogrammes (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

In November of 2011 plans were announced that would see the club move from Brunton Park to a new 12,000 seater stadium. Carlisle’s subsequent relegation from League One to League Two caused those plans to be put on hold and that is where they remain at the time of writing.

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