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Club News

The Fanzone: some facts about the site

8 September 2015

The countdown continues to the big opening

AS we continue the countdown to the opening of the new - and first-ever - Albion Fanzone, we take a quick look at the centre-piece of the site: the former Hawthorns public house.

Special guests will officially open the Fanzone this Saturday lunchtime, before our Barclays Premier League clash against Southampton (3pm).

Here are some facts about the site on which the Hawthorns public house is situated:

* The first building to be built on the site was called Street House, which dated back to 1616. 

* In 1818 it was the home of Joseph Halford. Between 1833 and 1846 the house was occupied by iron merchant Henry Halford (whose surname was later used in the naming of the road that runs along the length of The Hawthorns stadium). It was rebuilt and became known as Hawthorns House, as part of the Earl of Dartmouth's estate. It was built as a commercial nurseryman's house, the business specialising in supplying hawthorn hedging plans.

* The central portion of the house was built in 1845, with the wings added in 1903 when the property became a licensed premises.

* The final resident was Henry Sutcliffe, who was appointed honorary surgeon at West Bromwich Hospital and held this office for 27 years.

* In 1903, following the relocation of West Bromwich Albion from Stoney Lane to its current location, the Hawthorns House became the Hawthorns Hotel - serving patrons of the football club. 

* Internal features of note include cornicing to ceilings on the ground floor, a stained glass window (refurbished as part of the project) featuring a throstle and a cast iron fire surround. 

* Horse hair was found in the plaster work during the renovation of the building. Although this was common practice in plaster-bonding process of that time, the samples, as per usual procedure, needed to be sent away to be tested for anthrax...but were deemed as safe.

* Ray Barlow is a previous resident of the hotel, following his move to the Club during the 1940s. Derek Kevan also briefly stayed at the hotel.

* The building (and the site on which it is stood) took on a Grade II listed status in 1987.

* The Fanzone site will house catering/drink facilities, an eating area, live music, former players, special Albion-centric guests and entertainment for all ages. The Hawthorns building, which will not be open in time for Saturday's game, will host Greggs. 

Further details on the Fanzone will follow in the build-up to this weekend's game against Southampton.

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