The Garden of England
Before the 1900’s there appears to be little record of anything in the area currently occupied by the Cheriton Road football ground. It is possible that the land was part of Broadmead Farm, which was located at the current intersection of Cheriton Road and Cherry Garden Avenue. A postcard with a view of the farm, plus Caesars camp in the distance puts the rural setting in context.
Picture credit: Mark Taylor
The picture below shows a 1899 Ordnance Survey view of the area. The cemetery makes a good reference point, with the current football ground north of the cemetery main entrance building (entrance building marked “Mort. Chaps.”).
Picture credit: Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland. Use of these digitised maps for non-commercial purposes is permitted under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC-BY-NC-SA) licence.
To the north east of this area there is a Pavilion located next to the Pent Stream which is the current location of where Corwallis Avenue goes past the Folkestone Sports Centre golf course. Possibly the earliest indication of the Polo Ground being used in some sporting capacity and it turns out that this was the site of Folkestone Golf Club which had started in 1888.
Interestingly further west along Cheriton Road into Cheriton, just past Shorncliffe Terrace, is a football ground with a pavilion. The only evidence that can be found for its use is multi-sports, mainly cycling.
The Cheriton area was quite distant from even suburban Folkestone at this time, with the main part of Folkestone only as far west in 1877 as the current Guildhall Street North / Broadmead Road (called Braodmead Back Lane at that time), and the outskirts of Folkestone reaching the current Central Station area by 1899.