The Info List - Archibald Leitch

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Archibald Keir "Archie" Leitch (27 April 1865 – 25 April 1939) was a Scottish architect, most famous for his work designing football stadiums throughout Britain and Ireland.[1]


1 Early work 2 Stadium
design 3 References 4 Further reading 5 External links

Early work[edit] Born in Glasgow, Archibald Keir Leitch's early work was on designing tea factories in Deltota in the former Kandyan Kingdom of Ceylon, as well as factories in his home city and in Lanarkshire with the sole surviving example of which being the category A listed Sentinel Works at Jessie Street, Polmadie, just south of Glasgow
city centre. In 1896 he became a member of the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland, and later of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.[2] He moved into stadium design when he was commissioned to build Ibrox Park, the new home ground of his boyhood heroes Rangers, in 1899. Stadium

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Leitch's stadiums were initially considered functional rather than aesthetically elegant, and were clearly influenced by his early work on industrial buildings. Typically, his stands had two tiers, with criss-crossed steel balustrades at the front of the upper tier, and were covered by a series of pitched roofs, built so that their ends faced onto the playing field; the central roof span would be distinctly larger, and would incorporate a distinctive pediment. His first project in England was the design and building of the John Street Stand at Bramall Lane, which provided 3,000 seats and terracing for 6,000 and was dominated by a large mock-Tudor press box.

The double-decker 1926 Bullens Road Stand at Goodison Park
Goodison Park
home of Everton FC

The Johnny Haynes stand at Craven Cottage, home of Fulham
Football Club.

The concrete Midland Road stand for Bradford
City Football Club nearing completion in 1908.[3]

The Bill Struth Main Stand at Ibrox, home of Rangers Football Club.

Even after the Ibrox disaster of 1902, when 26 people were killed when a bank of wooden terracing collapsed,[4] Leitch was still in demand. Over the next four decades he became Britain's foremost football architect. In total he was commissioned to design part or all of more than 20 stadiums in the UK and Ireland
between 1899 and 1939, including:

Anfield, Liverpool Arsenal Stadium, Highbury, London Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough Bramall Lane, Sheffield Cardiff
Arms Park, Cardiff Craven Cottage,[5] Fulham, London Dalymount Park, Dublin Deepdale, Preston The Old Den, New Cross, London Dens Park, Dundee The Dell, Southampton Ewood Park, Blackburn The Double Decker stand (The Kop), Filbert Street, Leicester Fratton Park, Portsmouth Goodison Park, Liverpool Hampden Park, Glasgow Home Park, Plymouth Hyde Road Football Stadium, Manchester
(General ground improvements 1911-1914 and was planning a complete rebuild of the ground to accommodate 100,000 but war broke out, bringing a halt to those plans) [6] Ibrox Park, Glasgow[7] Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield Lansdowne Road, Dublin Leeds Road, Huddersfield Molineux, Wolverhampton Old Trafford, Trafford, Greater Manchester Park Avenue, Bradford Roker Park, Sunderland Rugby Park, Kilmarnock Saltergate, Chesterfield Selhurst Park, South Norwood, London Somerset Park, Ayr Stamford Bridge, Walham Green, London
fulham Starks Park, Kirkcaldy Twickenham
Stadium, Twickenham, London Tynecastle Park, Edinburgh Valley Parade, Bradford
(Midland Road stand and other extensions) Villa Park, Birmingham West Ham Stadium, Custom House, London White Hart Lane, Tottenham, London Windsor Park, Belfast

Many of his works have since been demolished for redevelopment (especially in wake of the Taylor Report
Taylor Report
and the move to all-seater stadiums), most notably the Trinity Road Stand at Villa Park, considered his masterpiece, which was demolished in 2000.[8] The main stand and pavilion at Craven Cottage
Craven Cottage
and the facade of the main stand at Ibrox (although the stand itself has been remodelled) still survive to this day; they are now listed buildings, as was the Leitch-designed main stand at Heart of Midlothian's Tynecastle Park, however in 2016 permission was granted for that structure to be demolished and replaced.[9][10] References[edit]

^ "The chronicles of Archibald Keir Leitch: Remembering Britain's legendary football architect".  ^ "Dictionary of Scottish Architects - DSA Architect
Biography Report (November 7, 2015, 2:04 pm)". scottisharchitects.org.uk.  ^ "Reinforced Concrete Football Stand at Bradford", Concrete and Constructional Engineering, Vol. V., No. 1, January 1910, pp. 16-22. ^ Sheils, Robert (November 1998). "The fatalities at the Ibrox disaster of 1902" (PDF). The Sports Historian. British Society of Sports History. 18 (2): 148–155. doi:10.1080/17460269809445801.  ^ "A Place In History". Fulham F.C.
Fulham F.C.
20 May 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2017.  ^ Athletic News, 9 June 1913. ^ " Archibald Leitch
Archibald Leitch
– 'Engineering Archie': The Designer of Ibrox". Gersnet, the Rangers Archive. Retrieved 30 October 2017.  ^ Inglis, Simon (14 May 2000). "Last rites for the holy Trinity". The Observer. Retrieved 30 October 2017.  ^ Anderson, Barry (15 November 2016). "Hearts ready go to work on Tynecastle's new main stand". Edinburgh
Evening News. Retrieved 30 October 2017.  ^ " Tynecastle Park
Tynecastle Park
reinstated". Heart of Midlothian FC. 28 April 2017. Retrieved 30 October 2017. 

Further reading[edit]

Inglis, Simon (2005). Engineering Archie: Archibald Kier Leitch -The first ever Steal Tea Factory
in hill country of Kandyan Kingdom Deltota Ceylon, Deltota Great Vally Estate was Designed by Archibald Keir Leitch, Football Ground Designer. English Heritage. ISBN 1-85074-918-3.  * Whitehead, Richard (18 April 2005). "Man who built his place in history". London: The Times.  Oxford University Press Biography

External links[edit]

Explore Glasgow
- All round the city Features architectural elevations of all Leitch's stadiums in Glasgow.

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 21661003 LCCN: nb2005007804 ULAN: 500275