A surprising discovery has been made in the midst of ongoing developments in Edinburgh, as the remains of a terrace from the former Meadowbank Stadium have been unearthed during tree removal in the area. The find has sparked interest among locals and historians alike, shedding light on the stadium’s rich history.
The once towering terrace, now revealed by the clearing of dozens of trees behind the outdoor race track, served as a prominent feature during the 1970 Commonwealth Games. What is presently a full-size football pitch, serving as the home ground for the Edinburgh Athletic Club, was once dominated by this massive structure and stand.
Images capturing the rediscovered terrace showcase some of its original period features, peeking through the foliage that had concealed them for years. Residents on Marionville Road, in particular, have been treated to an unexpected and, for some, an ideal view of the football pitch from their windows.
Meadowbank Stadium, initially constructed for the 1970 Commonwealth Games at a cost of £2.8 million, holds significant historical value. In 1986, it made history by becoming the first venue to host the Commonwealth Games for the second time. The stadium even boasted a special railway line during the games, although it was unfortunately lost to time after a brief stint as a freight cargo route.
An image taken 16 years ago resurfaces, depicting the towering terrace beside a large TV screen, a feature that vanished when the original structure was later demolished. Over the years, the stadium diversified its use, hosting events such as the T on the Fringe music festival between 2005 and 2007. Additionally, it served as a venue for shooting sports, including a 10-metre airgun range and a 50-metre indoor range for smallbore rifle shooting during the 70s and 80s.
The area surrounding the stadium is currently at the epicentre of proposed developments, with plans to construct approximately 600 new homes. An emphasis on community welfare is evident in the proposal, with 35 per cent of the homes designated as affordable housing for the council. The ambitious project also envisions space for various commercial and community uses, including the potential location for a GP Surgery.
The rediscovery of Meadowbank Stadium’s terrace provides a poignant glimpse into the city’s sporting and cultural heritage. As Edinburgh undergoes further transformation, these findings prompt reflection on the importance of preserving and honouring the rich history embedded in the architectural remnants of the past.
While the developments unfold, it is essential to balance progress with the preservation of historical landmarks. As the proposed new homes and community spaces take shape, the challenge lies in integrating modernity with the echoes of the past. The Meadowbank Stadium discovery serves as a testament to the layers of history beneath our bustling cities and the significance of thoughtful urban planning for the benefit of future generations.