Meadow Lane History

Last updated : 12 April 2024 By Jacob Daniel
In the early days, Notts County moved to various grounds throughout the city in search of a home of their own, before in 1910 finally managing to find ground to rent from the council, which would become the new 'County Ground', or Meadow Lane as it is commonly known, which will have been the club's home for 100 years in 2010.

The Magpies started off at the Park, known as 'Park Hollow', and moved through the Meadows Cricket Ground, Trent Bridge, Beeston Cricket Club and Castle Cricket Club in the 1800's, as well as occasional appearance at Nottingham Forest's cricket ground, before returning to Trent Bridge. However, in 1910, the owners of Trent Bridge decided not to renew the club's lease, and were forced to search for their own ground.

Meadow Lane was built in time for the 1910/11 season, with one of Trent Bridge's stands being dismantled and moved to the new ground to form the Meadow Lane end. The Main Stand was built, as was the 'County Road' stand as it is now known, although the Tinkers Leen flowed behind the stand at that time. The Kop was also built at the far end of the ground, and the stands retain similar names to this day. In 1925 the old smaller County Road stand was replaced with the more familiar, large version, with the famous gable sitting above the stand.

In 1941 Meadow Lane suffered bomb damage in the Second World War, and the club had to briefly close down for the 1941/42 season, although no competitive games were played at that time, while in 1949 the Kop was made larger in order to accommodate the swelling crowds of the post-war Tommy Lawton period. The old Meadow Lane stand was demolished and rebuilt in 1978, while the terracing in various parts of the ground was rebuilt in 1980 to provide extra crush barriers to the crowds.

The Hillsborough Disaster in 1989 re-inforced the need for new all-seater stadia, and the increasingly dilapidated and decrepit Meadow Lane was definately in need of a facelift. In 1992 work began to rebuild the ground, with three new stands being built over the summer, the new Meadow Lane end (Family Stand), the County Road stand (Jimmy Sirrel stand) and the huge new Kop. In 1994 the new Meadow Lane was completed with the rebuilding of the Main Stand (Derek Pavis stand).

In the summer of 2008, after a successful trial period in games against Accrington Stanley and Wycombe Wanderers, the club's large Kop stand was given to home supporters after seventeen years of being used to house visiting fans.