Part of Historic Environment Scotland

Scotland's Sporting Buildings

Published to coincide with the Commonwealth Games coming to Glasgow in 2014, Scotland's Sporting Buildings celebrates the diverse range and outstanding quality of historic purpose-built sporting architecture that exists across the country. With a focus on listed buildings, it charts the development of everything from sporting arenas and venues, to places where people gather to socialise after the game.

Some of the nation’s earliest sporting buildings are associated with grand properties and estates. A strong link existed between the nobility and the development of recreational pursuits - going all the way back to Scotland’s oldest remaining sporting structure, the royal tennis court at Falkland Palace, built in the mid sixteenth century for James V. At the same time, many of Scotland’s traditional sports can be traced to more popular and anarchic game-playing. Early versions of golf, shinty and football were typically played in kirkyards, streets and public commons in the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries.

Athletics, bowling, cricket, curling, football, golf, Highland games, horse-racing, swimming and tennis are just some of the sports that saw a huge groundswell of popular interest and participation in the late nineteenth century, accompanied by feverish building of stadia, grandstands, clubhouses, pavilions, huts and swimming pools.

Using stunning photography Scotland’s Sporting Buildings brings the special interest of these sites and structures to life for the first time in a fascinating and accessible guide.

Scotland’s Sporting Buildings showcases the results of Historic Environment Scotland's landmark, nationwide study in 2012-14 to review purpose-built public sporting buildings in Scotland. During the project, we visited over 140 sites, added 22 new listings and updated 108 existing listed building records with more information about why these buildings are so special.

Purchase Scotland's Sporting Buildings online and visit our Heritage Portal for more information about the listed buildings in the book.

  • Audiences

    Members, Researchers, Visitors, Conservation and Heritage Enthusiasts

  • Date Published

    01 May 2014

  • Publisher

    Historic Scotland

  • Publication Types

    Book (General)

  • Format(s)


    ISBN: 9781849171502

    96pp, portrait, 270mm x 216mm

    Illustrations: 100 illustrations (full colour)

  • Language


  • Subjects

    Architecture, Scotland, Sport

  • Share this:
Scotland's Sporting Buildings