Gilbert Cottage

Seventy yards east of the Life Centre on Gilbert Lane is a small gate opening onto Cottage Field.  Originally, this would have led to Gilbert Cottage, from which Cottage Field takes its name.

The opening from Gilbert Lane onto Cottage Field

The cottage was probably built for a farm worker and it remained when the land was purchased for Central Park in 1925. 

Cottage Field, Gilbert Cottage and Home Park football stadium, early summer 1930, before the park’s official opening. Argyle’s original wooden grandstand has been demolished and its steel successor still to be erected.

Tony Hooper grew up close to Central Park in the 1950s and recalled that the head park keeper, Mr J B Bickford, lived in Gilbert Cottage.  Mrs Bickford washed all the Argyle football kit and it would be blowing on the washing line at the cottage for a day or two after matches.   Another person remembered how children could go to Gilbert Cottage after the second world war to borrow bats and balls for games of cricket and football because they had lost their own items during the war.  

Aerial view in 1967 with Gilbert Cottage in the centre of the picture (The Box accession reference 3488/6929)

The cottage was still standing in the late 1960s although demolished by 1978 [a closer date is wanted].