As full crowds are about to return for the Autumn Nations Series, this month's featured object from our collection is an architect's drawing showing the proposed site of the first North stand, opened at Twickenham in 1925. The new stand vastly increased the stadium's capacity - prior to this, there were only stands on the East and West sides of the pitch.
The existing stands and terraces had been large enough to accommodate the 18,000 spectators who had arrived for Twickenham's first international match in 1910, but following the restart of rugby after the close of the First World War, it was decided that capacity should be increased. The Rugby Football Union appointed the Scottish architect Archibald Leitch (1865-1939) to construct a two-tier grandstand for the north end of Twickenham Stadium.
Initially an engineer and factory architect, Leitch later moved into stadium design and was commissioned to build a stand at Ibrox Park in 1899. After witnessing the subsequent collapse of the stand in 1902, he was hired for the rebuild and patented new methods of construction to improve safety. He went on to play a role in the design of over 20 sports stands in Britain and Ireland, including football grounds such as Anfield, Hampden Park, Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge and White Hart Lane, and rugby grounds such as Cardiff Arms Park and Twickenham.