Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see ‘About Listed Buildings’ below for more information.

IBROX STADIUM (THE STAND BY EDMISTON DRIVE OR BILL STRUTH MAIN STAND ONLY), 100-170 EDMISTON DRIVE, GLASGOWLB33338

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
B
Date Added
15/05/1987
Local Authority
Glasgow
Planning Authority
Glasgow
Burgh
Glasgow
NGR
NS 55477 64578
Coordinates
255477, 664578

Description

Archibald Leitch & Partners, 1926-29, addition of upper deck by Gareth Hutchison 1989-1990. Three-storey, and with later 4th storey, 25-bay, rectangular plan Renaissance Revival football stand with segmental-headed arcade to ground floor and distinctive tall round-headed keystoned window openings to 2nd floor. Red brick; metal framework. String courses and eaves cornice. Parapets over advanced central bay and end bays. Plain pilasters between each bay rising from string course to eaves cornice.

Entrance in central bay with engaged columns and pilasters carrying lintel and mutule cornice above. Balustrade and 4 light windows under large round arch at 2nd floor. Flanking bays with pedimented square-headed windows; similar arrangement in end pavilions with bi-partite pedimented windows. Mosaic shields with lion rampant on return elevations, inscribed '1872 Ready 1928' at W and '1972 Ready 1981' at E. Central parapet with faience panel inscribed 'Rangers FC'.

Metal framed small pane glazing to 1926-29 part.

INTERIOR: timber and leaded glass two-leaf central door to lobby with similarly detailed doors to right and left. 'RFC' in floor mosaic. Simple plaster cornices and timber panelling in most principal areas, some original light fittings etched with 'RFC'. Period staircase with decorative metal panels and timber handrail and newel posts. Blue Room with deeply moulded classically inspired cornice and timber-panelling to picture rail height, timber and marble chimneypiece. Corniced door to Director's room. Boot room with numbered hooks; tiled players' bathing room.

Statement of Special Interest

The Main Stand at Ibrox opened on the 1st January 1929. It is important as it is one of the very few remaining relatively little altered football stands of the early 20th century. The classical exterior elevation was formerly used as the main entrance to the stadium and continues to make an significant contribution to the streetscape. Designed by the leading architect of football stadia at the time, Archibald Leitch (1865-1939), the stand was built with seating rather than terraces.

There are very few early surviving buildings associated with football. This is in some part due to the recommendations of the Taylor Report following the Hillsborough disaster of 1989 which resulted in the banning of standing terraces at all major football stadiums. However, well before the Hillsborough disaster Ibrox had already implemented many of the safety features noted in the Taylor Report because of previous accidents at the ground.

Leitch rose to fame as the premier architect of football stands in Britain at a time when the sport gained enormously in popularity in the early decades of the 20th century. He was responsible for stands at many of the most famous clubs including Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Tottenham, Aston Villa and Heart of Midlothian, but in fact his stadium career began with the stands for Glasgow Rangers at Ibrox. The first stand at Ibrox was built of timber on an iron frame between 1899 and 1902. However on 5 April 1902 the west terracing collapsed causing the death of 26 people, an event witnessed by Leitch. This incident led to the ban on wooden scaffold type terraces and the substitution of earth banking, the designs for which were largely developed by Leitch as were crush barriers and radial gangway routings.

Despite the accident, Leitch was employed by Rangers as their architect for the next 30 years and most significantly in 1926-29 to build the new south stand. The design of the exterior although simple is well detailed. It has much in common with contemporary commercial and industrial architecture such as that by James Miller combining a pared-down modern style with classical details. It bears a number of Leitch's trademarks in the keystoned windows, small pane glazing and tall pilasters

The historical importance of Ibrox's Main Stand also lies in the fact that from its opening in 1929 until the 1970s it was the second largest stand in Britain, second only to the stand at Hampden Park (now replaced), which Leitch extended in 1927-36, and the largest he designed from scratch.

Ibrox has been the home of the Rangers Football Club since 1887. The Club was formed in 1872 and initially played on Glasgow Green. After playing on pitches in different parts of Glasgow, the club first moved to a piece of ground to the east of the present stand in 1887. Ibrox Park, as it was known between 1899 and 1997 is almost completely different to the Ibrox Stadium of today. It followed the model of most Scottish stadiums of the time, comprising an oval track around the pitch, with a pavilion and one stand along one side. The ground had a capacity of 40,000.

Perhaps more than any other sport, football is a quintessential part of Scotland's social and cultural life. Thousands of fans flock to games and move through the turnstiles every week. References to the sport in historical records date from 1424, however the game expanded rapidly in Scotland from the mid 19th century onwards with the availability of more social leisure time and due to changes in competition and rule making. The establishment of professionalism to standardise the varying forms of the game of football in 1893 gave us the modern game we know today.

In 1903, Scotland became the first country in the world to have a national stadium built at Hampden Park in Glasgow. It was the largest in size and capacity in the world at the time, and the first ever football stadium recorded to have been built of brick. Along with the other local large stadiums of Celtic Park and Ibrox, by 1904 Glasgow could also claim to have the largest stadia in the world.

List description updated as part of the sporting buildings thematic study (2012-13).

References

Bibliography

Dean of Guild Plans 1926/381 (26 May 1926), City of Glasgow Archives. Simon Inglis, Engineering Archie: Archibald Leitch - football ground designer (2005). Simon Inglis, Football Grounds of Great Britain (1996). www.scottisharchitects.org.uk (accessed March 2013).

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

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