Raeburn Place is the oldest international rugby ground in the world. It is the home ground of the Edinburgh Academical Football Club (EAFC) and the Edinburgh Academical Cricket Club (EACC). The ground is presently the subject of a redevelopment proposal conceived and designed to ensure sport can continue to be played and enjoyed at Raeburn Place for many years to come.
The ground derives its name from the adjacent street, Raeburn Place, which is the main street running through the Edinburgh suburb of Stockbridge. The street itself is named after the famous Scottish painter, Sir Henry Raeburn, who once owned the land on which Raeburn Place and many of the surrounding streets were built.
Raeburn Place was acquired by members of the Edinburgh Academical Club in 1853 for use by pupils and former pupils of the Edinburgh Academy. The ground opened for play on 17 May 1854. Although cricket was the first sport known to be played at the ground, 'football' would also have been played, with the Rugby School rules of football adopted by the Edinburgh Academy in 1855, following the arrival of the Crombie brothers from Durham.
EAFC, the oldest football club of any code in Scotland, was formed in 1857 by former pupils of the Edinburgh Academy. The Club’s first match kicked off on 26 December that year against some students from the University of Edinburgh. This game continued over the following three Saturday afternoons until the required number of 'goals' had been scored. Raeburn Place is still the home of EAFC and the illustrious history of this club can be found here.
Raeburn Place hosted the first ever international rugby match on 27 March 1871. It is probable this was actually the first international sporting fixture of any kind. The ground was used as the preferred home ground for Scotland for the next 25 years.
Raeburn Place has also hosted a number of other internationals and famous sporting events. The first women’s international match for Scotland and Ireland was held here in 1993, as was the final of the 1994 Women’s Rugby World Cup between England and the USA, which England won. 1999 saw the ground hosting two of Scotland's matches in the 1999 Cricket World Cup.
Raeburn Place is the venue for the annual 'Edinburgh 10s' rugby competition and this year will host the inaugural ATP Champions' Tour game to be held in Scotland.
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