Those of you who have ever stepped of the train at Mount Florida in Glasgow’s south-side on your way to watch Scotland play at Hampden, may not be aware that you are surrounded by a rich sporting past. Thanks to the recent work conducted by the secretary of the Hampden Bowling Club, we now know the Cathcart and District railway line on which your travelled, cut through the very first Hampden Park in 1883, at the point where the railway passes Hampden Bowling Club and goes under Queen’s Drive. Whilst the current (third) Hampden dominates the views as you walk around the area, there is much more to see. Of course, the Queen’s Park Recreation Ground had seen football games before Queen’s Park FC established the first Hampden, but the story does not end there. A second Hampden was built on the other side of the Cathcart Road in 1884 which, in turn, became the home of Third Lanark Football Club at Cathkin park in 1903. The park still holds the remains of the pitch and the terracing, creating an eerie monument to Scotland’s glory days of football history.
Between August 21st and 26th Archaeology Scotland will excavating and conducting survey of Cathkin Park to discover some of its rich sporting heritage.
Sports are by far the most popular subject in the UK, highlighted by a survey in June 2016, which showed that nine out of ten most viewed TV programmes were sports events (the 10th was an episode of East Enders). But people do not associate Sports with heritage even though Scotland is known worldwide as the home of golf and oldest football club in the world. Scotland as a nation has much to offer by way of its rich and diverse sporting heritage, and we would like people to engage with their sporting past. We see the opportunity to bring together these to strands, to offer an exciting addition to the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017. As such our work at Cathkin will act as the launch event for Archaeology Scotland’s, Scottish Archaeology Month
The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017, is apt for researching Scottish sporting heritage, as it not only marks the 150th anniversary of the formation of Queen’s Park Football Club and the 135th anniversary of the first Scotland v. England match at the West of Scotland Cricket Ground; it is also the 50th anniversary of the winding up Third Lanark Football Club.