Wednesday, February 8, 2023

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The History of Twickenham – The Home of England Rugby

Since the early twentieth century Twickenham Stadium (often referred to simply as “Twickenham”) – the world’s largest rugby specific stadium – has been synonymous with the England Rugby team.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) purchased a 10 ¼ acre patch of land in Twickenham in 1907 for just under £6,000. The land was affectionately known as “Billy Williams’ cabbage patch” in honour of the RFU committee member who was largely responsible for its purchase. The famous Twickenham pub The Cabbage Patch is still a popular stop for rugby fans on matchdays.

The first recorded game at Twickenham took place in October 1909 as Harlequins (who now play across the road at the Twickenham Stoop) played local rivals Richmond. The first recorded international at Twickenham was between England and old rivals Wales on 15 January 1910 in front of a then capacity crowd of 20,000 spectators.

During the First and Second World Wars, the stadium took on a different purpose housing cattle and horses, dormitories, and an allotment to help with the war effort.

Twickenham underwent a series of developments and expansions in the 1950s-60s as the popularity of the game and the venue increased. In 1981 Sir Henry Munro opened the new South Stand of the stadium which included a new banqueting suite called The Rose Room in Twickenham’s first venture into hospitality.

In 2004 the stadium began working with current partner Keith Prowse, the UK’s leading provider of corporate hospitality at sporting events.

Between them, they took rugby hospitality to the next level when the stadium opened its new facilities in the renovated East Stand in November 2018 for the opening Autumn Internationals match against the Springboks. The East Wing is the jewel in the crown of Twickenham’s hospitality offering, with excellent décor, food provided by Michelin star chefs and much more. The Gate is the stadium’s in-house chop house style restaurant which also boasts fantastic views of the pitch. Meanwhile The Lock is a stylish restaurant serving classic English food with a contemporary twist. Whilst the British Airways Rose Garden is an atmospheric traditional rugby clubhouse bar with live music.

More history will be made on Saturday, 26 November when England host the Springboks in the final game of the Autumn Nations Series. Why don’t you treat yourself, your friends and family or clients to one of Keith Prowse’s famous hospitality experiences at the match? To find out more visit the Keith Prowse website.

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