ex Home of St Bernards Football Club, Gymnasium Grounds, Royal Crescent, Canonmills, Edinburgh.
LOCATED————————————About half a mile north west of Calton Hill in the centre of Edinburgh.
ORIGINAL SITE—————————–Home to St Bernards Football Club.
DATE CONSTRUCTED——————–Opened as a fitness park during 1865.
DATE VENUE OPENED——————-1880 for football.
Meaning other sports may have taken place prior to the arrival of Greyhound Racing.
FIRST MEETING—————————–September 2nd 1930.
Greyhound Racing only.
LICENSED OR INDEPENDENT———-Independent.
All venues covered would have to be licensed with the government, licensed suggested in this section would refer to tracks operating under NGRC Rules.
INSIDE OR OUTSIDE HARE TYPE——Trackless type lure.
Please note that the Electric Hare suggested is only a guidance and would have been in operation for a certain amount of time at this venue. Although it is not necessarily guaranteed that it was operational all the time, as other types of lure may have been used and updated as time progressed.
Please note that most racing venues distances had become varied throughout the years, the ones given above were at once point set and offers only a guidance to the track size.
Please note that alterations at most racing venues throughout its existence would see that the circumference of the track would vary, the one shown above offers only a guidance to the track size.
BIG RACE NAMES—————————Nothing found.
STADIUM SHARED WITH——————St Bernards Football Club.
Greyhound Racing only.
STADIUM CLOSURE DATE—————-Sporting activities ceased during the early years of the Second World War.
Meaning other sports may have taken place after Greyhound Racing had ceased.
BUILT ON SITE——————————-King George V park and a car park.
In some cases, structure’s that originally covered the venue after the stadium had been demolished, may have been themselves demolished too, so the one described is more likely to be the one which now presently covers the site.
EVIDENCE LEFT TODAY——————-Nothing known of.
Another of Edinburgh’s greyhound racing venues was the one known as the Gymnasium Ground, situated in the district of Canonmills, an area found very close to Edinburgh’s city centre. The original site began to develop in 1865 as a fitness and theme park, and became known as the Royal Patent Gymnasium Grounds, but in 1879 the grounds had been purchased by St Bernards Football Club, who began playing matches the following year.
They renamed the stadium the Gymnasium Ground, and throughout the following years the venue developed in to a respectable sized football ground that could easily accommodate over 20,000 fans. St Bernards won the Scottish Cup in 1895, and also featured for a number of seasons in the Scottish Football League, and could once proudly boast of having a record attendance of 27,000 against Hibernian during a Scottish FA Cup tie in 1932.
During the First World War, the grounds were requisitioned by The Royal Army Services Corps, and used it for storing and repairing army vehicles, and also training new recruits. After the football club returned, the depression of the early 1930’s began to show the financial strain on the football club, and like a handful of others, spiralling debts forced them to share their stadium with greyhound racing. Kennels were constructed at the stadium, albeit without planning permission, and created a fuss due to residents complaining about the noise from the kennelled dogs. A track was laid around the pitch and a trackless type hare was installed to lure the hounds.
The Gymnasium’s first meeting came on the 2nd of September 1930, and soon the venue was running four meetings per week. Racing ceased around 1933, after complaints from the football club and visiting teams, stating that the greyhounds were damaging the football playing surface at the corner flag areas. Eventually the football club lost its league status and folded during the Second World War. The hostilities had witnessed virtually all sporting activities dwindle to nothing, with most of the site becoming demolished except for the main grandstand. But in 1947 that too was lost as the whole structure was removed bit by bit and transported to the old Meadowbank Stadium.
Today, the site of the Gymnasium Grounds acts as a recreation park, named the King George V Park, and also acts as a large car park for local business’s.
A programme, photograph or even memorabilia for this track is required for this page, if you can help please contact me.