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13 the Links, Links House, St Andrews Golf Club with Boundary Wall and Railings

A Category C Listed Building in St Andrews, Fife

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.3427 / 56°20'33"N

Longitude: -2.8035 / 2°48'12"W

OS Eastings: 350430

OS Northings: 716996

OS Grid: NO504169

Mapcode National: GBR 2R.4646

Mapcode Global: WH7RZ.XT5Z

Entry Name: 13 the Links, Links House, St Andrews Golf Club with Boundary Wall and Railings

Listing Date: 14 December 2001

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 395714

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB48319

Building Class: Cultural

Location: St Andrews

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: St Andrews

Traditional County: Fife

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Description

Late 19th century; alterations by W Walker and F Pride, 1921, 1927 and conversion to golf clubhouse, 1932-33; further alterations, 1970 and 1977; 3-storey addition to rear, 2000. 3-storey with attic and basement, 3-bay house in irregular terrace. Sandstone ashlar. Base course; moulded cill courses to first and second floors; eaves cornice with blocking course. Architraved surrounds with bracketed cills; stone mullions. Corniced doorway to centre bay; panelled timber door with plate glass fanlight. To left, canted bay to ground and 1st floors; bipartite window to 2nd floor. Pair of piended timber bipartite dormer windows.

Timber framed sash and case windows with 2 vertical plate glass panes to lower sashes; 12-pane glazing pattern to upper sashes at ground and first floors; 8-pane to upper sashes at second floor. Grey slates. Coped ashlar stacks; cast-iron downpipe with decorative rainwater hopper; decorative ironwork fronting all windows except ground left.

INTERIOR: central stair well with prominent cantilevered, balustered timber staircase and large lantern cupola. Egg and dart plasterwork cornicing to principal rooms. 1st floor committee room: timber fireplace and panelling to dado height. Twin fireplaces to double length billiard room.

BOUNDARY WALL AND RAILINGS: low saddleback-coped boundary wall with inset decorative cast-iron railings.

Statement of Interest

Part of a group with Forgan House, The Links and Pilmour Links; Rusacks Hotel; 2-4 Golf Place with 1 Pilmour Links; 12-24 Golf Place; 3, 6, 7, 16-18A and 19 Pilmour Links; 7-8, 11-12, 13, 15-16, 18 The Links (see separate listings).

Built at the end of the 19th century, Links House has served as the clubhouse of the St Andrews Golf Club since 1933. The house has a notably broad and well-proportioned frontage for a terrace house, indicating that is must have been commissioned by a person of considerably standing. It is part of an irregular terrace of large town houses overlooking the 18th green of the celebrated St Andrews Old Course and across from the Royal and Ancient Clubhouse (see separate listing). Internally, the wide cantilevered timber staircase is worthy of particular note, dominating the central core of the building and rising to attic level.

Alterations to Links House and its later conversion to a golf club house were among William Walker and Frank Pride's earliest commissions. This local architectural practice went on to design a significant number of housing schemes for Fife County Council, amongst various other works in the region.

The St Andrews Golf Club began as The St Andrews Mechanics Golf Club in 1843, formed by 11 local tradesmen. By 1854, the name had changed and one of the foremost golfers of his day, Alan Robertson was captain. 'Old' Tom Morris, the world famous golf professional, club manufacturer and Custodian of St Andrews Links, was also an early and long-time member. He purchased the shop premises at No 7 and 8 The Links (see separate listing) in 1866.

Early golfing societies and clubs tended to meet at a hotel or a members' house near to their course. Official clubhouses became increasingly common in Scotland from the mid-nineteenth century onwards as the game's popularity increased. The St Andrews Golf Club's first clubhouse, in nearby Golf Place, was purchased in 1905. In 1932, the club's committee seized the opportunity to purchase Links House, overlooking the 18th green of the Old Course, for the sum of 2700 pounds. After its conversion to a clubhouse, at a further cost of 2000 pounds, the new premises were formally opened on 20th July, 1933.

St Andrews is recognised by international golfers and historians as the cultural home of golf. Early versions of the game were being played in Scotland during the middle ages and it is known to have been played on St Andrews Links continuously from at least the mid 16th century. The right of the people of St Andrews to play golf on The Links was officially recognised in 1552. By 1691, the Regent of St Andrews described the town as "the metropolis of golfing" and a letter of 1712 shows that students could be given a dispensation to play.

Scotland has produced many pioneering names in golf including five times Open Championship winner and course architect James Braid (1870-1950), and the aforementioned Old Tom Morris (1821-1908). The Scottish Golf Union have indicated there are currently around 550 golf courses in Scotland with a total membership of approximately 236,000.

List description updated as part of the sporting buildings thematic study (2012-13).

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