Scotland’s oldest sporting venues

Our nation’s love of football, golf and rugby makes it unsurprising that we have some of the oldest sporting venues on the planet which are still in use to this day.

Tannadice Park has gone through many changes since its creation in the late 19th century. Photo: Dundee United Mad.

Scotland’s national sport has many claims to the title of the nation’s oldest grounds, but Dundee United’s Tannadice Park home is reputedly the oldest of all Scotland’s top flight football teams.

Opened in 1883, the venue has been the home of Dundee East End, Violets, Wanderers and Dundee United. Originally named Clepington Park, Tannadice was adopted as its new moniker when Dundee Hibernian took over the ground in the spring of 1909.

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Tannadice’s modern iteration has a maximum capacity of approximately 14,220 people, with the first-ever cantilevered stand in Scottish football in the form of the The Jimmy Kerr Stand added to the ground in 1962. Subsequent modifications have seen the George Fox and Eddie Thompson stands added to the extensively redeveloped ground.

A view of the St Andrews Links in the 19th century. Photo: University of St. Andrews Library.

The jewel in Scotland’s golfing crown is St Andrews in Fife, which boasts the oldest world-class venue still currently in use. Founded in 1574, there is a record of University of St Andrews student James Melville’s golfing equipment noted in his diaries. In their current form the St Andrews Links comprise of the Old, New and Castle Courses, as well as the Balgove, Eden and Jublee courses with Strathtyrum the final option for golfing enthusiasts.

The Links’ Old Course is said to date from over 600 years ago, with The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews created in the same year as the course. The club took until 2015 to admit its first-ever female members, with May of this year seeing Lady Angela Bonallack become the first lady take part in the club’s annual game against the Links Trust.

With the proud claim of hosting the first-ever international rugby football match on 27 March 1871, Edinburgh’s Raeburn Place in Stockbridge has seen teams from Scotland, England, New Zealand and Bangladesh over the years.

Raeburn Place was the location for Scotland and Ireland’s first women’s international rugby match in the early 1990s. The playing field is the current home of Edinburgh Academical cricket and football clubs and is nestled a stone’s throw from Edinburgh Castle and Princes Street.

Raeburn Place, Edinburgh. Photo: Kim Traynor.