Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 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. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
St Andrews
NO 50502 17090
350502, 717090


George Rae, 1854 with additions and alterations by John Laurie Fogo and Jesse Hall, 1866; David Henry, 1873; John Milne, 1880-82; James Gillespie, 1889 and 1899; J Donald Mills, 1922-25. Further alterations, late 20th century and early 21st century (see Notes). Large, multi-phase, 2 and 3 storey, rectangular-plan golf club house in classical style, prominently located at the head of the St Andrews Links Old Course. Pale sandstone ashlar with moulded dressings. Cill courses.

W (LINKS) ELEVATION: large, 7-window, canted bay with stone mullions; surmounted by covered balcony with cavetto-moulded stone plinths and decoratively scrolled wrought-iron columns and railings. Above: triangular pediment with lunette window and radiating keystone motif. Pedimented towerlet to outer right, slightly advanced with clock at first floor. 2 bays to left with tripartite windows at each floor. 2 large, square-plan, glazed lanterns, set back behind balustraded parapet.

S (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: symmetrical. Advanced, flat-roofed entrance portico to centre with square-section columns. Pedimented gable above with tripartite window, segmentally-pedimented dormers flanking; slightly advanced, pedimented outer bays, returning to W and E elevations. French Beaux-Art influenced, segmentally-pedimented chimney stacks.

E ELEVATION: 2-storey section to left: 5-window to ground; 3 shouldered and pedimented dormers to first floor. 3-storey, 4-bay section to right with irregular fenestration; segmental cornices to first floor windows. Projecting in-and-out quoins; shallow piend roof.

Plate glass glazing in timber sash and case windows. Grey slates. Variety of tall coped end, ridge and corner stacks. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

INTERIOR: high quality interior scheme with timber fireplaces, panelling and fitted timber trophy and memorabilia display cabinets. Decorative plasterwork cornices to principal ground floor reception rooms. Stairs with carved timber balusters, newel-posts and handrails. Timber doors, some with coloured glass infills to fanlights.

Trophy Room: stone fireplace, First and Second World War memorials, stained glass windows and trophy/golf club display cabinets.

Big Room: elaborate plasterwork ceiling, hardwood golf club lockers lining walls to dado height.

Secretary's Office: timber panelling to dado height, stone fireplace, decorative plasterwork to mansard roof.

Statement of Special Interest

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews is one of Scotland's key sporting institutions and its clubhouse is one of the country's most important sporting buildings. Prominently and famously located at the head of the St Andrews Links Old Course, this grand clubhouse, with its wealth of architectural detailing, reflects the club's long and significant history.

The Royal and Ancient Golf Clubhouse was originally a simple neo-Classical, H-plan structure, single storey in appearance, built by the St Andrews architect George Rae in 1854. The steady and purposeful evolution of its built form over time, catering to the changing needs and requirements of the club's membership, has resulted in a multi-phase building of distinctive character, broadly defined by those changes.

The first significant early alteration was the large canted window addition to the Big Room (or large hall as it was originally known ) in 1866. A second lanterned billiard room was added to the north side of the building in 1873. John Milne added a first floor level to the south side in 1882 with symmetrical pedimented outer bays. A 3-storey section was added to the east side by James Gillespie in 1889 and, ten years later, Gillespie and his partner James Scott raised the billiard rooms up a floor and added a card-playing room (now the secretary's office) above the Big Room, with its famous balcony overlooking the Old Course.

Plans to install a War Memorial in the reading room (now the trophy room) in 1922 resulted in major changes, when it was discovered that the floor above and also the floor of the landing above the entrance hall were structurally unsound. Dundee architect, J. Donald Mills surveyed the building and made a number of changes including the addition of two storeys to the north-east corner, bringing the whole building to a broadly uniform height. Further reconfiguration of the interior was carried out during the 20th century, much of it to provide additional office accommodation. In 2002, Wellwood Leslie Architects added a new entrance on the north side of the building to access the refurbished locker room at basement level and in 2013, the north room bay window was lowered to give better views of the putting green and the West Sands.

St Andrews is internationally recognised by golfers and historians as the home of golf. Versions of the game developed in Scotland during the middle ages and golf is known to have been played on St Andrews Links from at least the mid 16th century. These coastal flats formed part of the Burgh of St Andrews since 1123. The earliest known documentary evidence for golf being played here is the St Andrews Links Charter of 1552 which refers to the public ownership of the links and the right of the townspeople to play golf and other games. By 1691, the Regent of St Andrews University described the town as "the metropolis of golfing" and a letter of 1712 shows that students could be given a dispensation to play.

The 'Articles and Laws in Playing at Golf' were drawn up by the Gentleman Golfers of Edinburgh (now the Honourable Company) in 1744. The document underpins the regulations for an annual challenge for a silver club, in which the winner became Captain. The challenge was introduced at St Andrews ten years later with the regulations being adopted almost in their entirety. By 1766, the St Andrews Golfers had formed themselves into a Society and in 1834, the patronage of King William IV was applied for and granted, as was the right for the Society to re-name itself The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.

From the late 19th century The Royal and Ancient Golf Club increasingly came to be regarded as a governing authority, both in Britain and overseas. Between 1897 and 2003 it developed three areas of responsibility, namely the administration of the Rules of Golf (in conjunction with the United States Golf Association), the running of The Open Championship and other key golf championships and matches and the development of the game world-wide. In 2004, the Club devolved these responsibilities to a newly formed group of companies known collectively as 'The R&A', also based at St Andrews.

The spread of rail travel in the 19th century helped golf become the focus of a strong tourist economy in the town. Golf tourism remains strong in St Andrews, particularly during The Open Championship. The Old Course has hosted The Open on 28 occasions, as of 2013. Scotland as a whole has more golf courses per head of population than any other country and the Scottish Golf Union has indicated there are around 550 courses with a total membership of nearly 250,000.

St Andrews Links is included on Scotland's Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landcapes. The four historic golf courses within the landscape boundary are the Old Course, the New Course, the Jubilee Course and the Eden Course, with the smaller 'Himalayas' putting green located adjacent to the Royal and Ancient Clubhouse. Further to the west of the Clubhouse is the low, single-arched Golfer's Bridge (see separate listing) over the Swilcan Burn which meanders across the Old Course. It is of uncertain date but is believed to be at least 300 years old. Together the Clubhouse and bridge are among the most celebrated and instantly recognisable landmarks in golf.

Category changed from B to A and list description updated as part of the sporting buildings thematic study (2012-13).



Evident on 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey Map (1893). J B Salmond, The Story Of The R&A (1956). R G Cant, St Andrews Architects II 1790-1914 (1967). Peter N Lewis, Fiona C Grieve, Keith Mackie, Art and Architecture of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club (1997). John Behrend, Peter N. Lewis Challenges & Champions: The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews 1754-1883 (1998). Tom Jarrett and Peter Mason, St Andrews Links: Six Centuries Of Golf (2012). - 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. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. 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.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

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