Second Hampden

The Second Hampden

The Second Hampden 1884-1903

After their brief stay at Titwood, Queen’s Park moved into the Second Hampden Park in 1884. It was no more than fifty metres away from the boundary of the old ground. In many ways, the decision of the Cathcart Railway to come through the middle of the pitch, was a blessing in disguise. The First Hampden, had quickly became unsatisfactory as it was ‘scarcely suitable to the requirements of the club’. What were those requirements? The crowds had jumped from 3,000 at the first international 1872 to 10,000 inside and up too 15,000 on the hill outside in 1882. Impressive, but no-one gets money off people standing for free.

They opened up their new ground with a game against Dumbarton 18th October 1884 in front of 7,000 spectators. The company were quite helpful. It was only a few metres from the original ground and the new Crosshill station. They helped level the new ground, filled up drains and made sewers. The earth dug up by the railway company was used to help level the new pitch. In a real sense, the Spiders continued playing on their first pitch.

In a another cost saving measure, the Club brought the old roof with them, as can be seen from the two images. Look at the identical barge boards on the gable over the door.

First Hampden Pavilion First Hampen Pavilion Roof Detail

Second Hampden Pavilion (With Second Floor Added)Second Hampden Roof Detail

A member of the club, the architect John Hamilton designed the first one storey pavilion. It cost £95 and was made of brick. The stand cost £40. The cinder track cost £300. Queen’s wished to be prepared for athletics, as well as football. Like the First Hampden, it was still out on the southern edge of the urban area that was close to Glasgow. In fact, Third Lanark were less than 300 metres to the north of Queen’s in the first Cathkin Park on Dixon Road. They had enough space for a Drill Ground for the volunteers.

An unusual deal was done to provide a second stand on the north side of the new ground. The builder of the first stand and pavilion was Mr Wilson, a joiner. He agreed to build the second stand if he received 50% of the admission price for three years, when the stand would become the property of Queen’s Park FC.

Never ones to rest on their laurels, Queen’s became dissatisfied with their brick clubhouse, the first of its kind in Scotland. That really means the world. Don’t forget that England were still playing a Kennington Oval: a cricket ground. They needed something larger to cope with training and running their increasingly important Club. Ninian McWhannel (a Queen’s Park player) and John Rogerson were the architects. Whilst keeping the same shape, they raised the walls of the clubhouse by over two metres. They added a new storey for a reading and recreation room, which was reached by a spiral iron stair. The dressing rooms were enlarged and a gym created for the extra cost of £550.

Queen’s Park were only keeping pace with football developments. There were more clubs in big cities and they were looking for a piece of the action. But Queen’s Park had developed the idea of a sports ground. They realised that having a stadium sat doing nothing for three months of the year was nonsense. The ground had a running track and even tennis courts behind one goal. Other Athletics Clubs objected to the fact that clubs close to the Spiders could use the gym and train at what was the world’s best sports stadium. No wonder the Scotch Professor still led the way, in the last few years before professionalism in England completely changed the game.

The Hampden Dig of 2021 should give us more answers, as we confirm this stadium as the one that founded world football stadiums.


Giving History a Sporting Chance