Clifton Rugby Football Club History
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Grounds - Leach's Field 1885-1892


Knowing that the ground was on Henleaze Lane (renamed Henleaze Road between 1881 and 1888) and in Westbury-on-Trym between 1885 and 1892 and that the only grassed areas with no trees in the way were off the Henleaze Road between the Eastfield Inn and the Convent of Mercy. Also the pitch could be gated off and charges for admission could be made.

Above Westbury-on-Trym 1888

Above possible locations for Leach's Field. I suspect it was the bottom left field as this has one else planted with trees which would prevent people from watching from Henleaze Road and forced them to pay admission.

To help confirm this Leach's Field would have been named after a man called Leach and during the 1891 Census 2 Dorset Villas, top right of the fields was occupied by a farmer called John Leach and his family. They were

Name Relation Age Occupation Where born
John Leach Head 43 Farmer & Dairyman Hambrook, Glos.
Jane Leach Wife 46 Stoke, Nottinghamshire
John H. Leach Son 16 Farmer's Son Westbury-on-Trym, Glos.
George S. Leach Son 14 Scholar Westbury-on-Trym, Glos.
Gilbert J. Leach Son 8 Scholar Westbury-on-Trym, Glos.

In 1881 John Leach, his wife Jane, sons John H., George and daughter Ethel J. lived at Donnington Villa, Westbury-on-Trym. He is listed as a farmer and dairyman of 29 acres. For more on John Leach click here

Above to the left the end of Dorset Villas, pre 1920. Express Dairies operate from there (formerley Ropers Dairy) and where John Leach had his dairy. Possibly the same one.

Above The Eastfield Inn before rebuilding.

Above the fields behind the Convent of Mercy in 1931 which in 1896 became St. Ursulas High School playing fields.

Above the thatched lodge circa 1906. To the left are the fields on Henleaze Road. One of the entrances to Henleaze Park Estate. The lodge still survives today.

In the season 1888-1889 Leach's Field was home to many important matches the most famous being the first time Clifton played Bristol on 23rd March 1889 click here. Bristol won 4-0. Clifton would go on to play Bristol 4 times at Leach's Field, Clifton would win 1, loose 2 and draw 1.

I suspect we had to move grounds in 1892 becase John Leach had sold up. The club then moved grounds to Fishponds click here

In the 1901 census the Leach family had moved to Horfield Court Farm. Part of the estate was Buffalo Bill's Field which became the clubs ground from 1893 to 1896 click here

In 1898-99 a G.Leach joined Clifton RFC. If it was George he would be 21 years old, Gilbert 15 years old.