Carlton have been residents of Grange Loan (or nearby) for over 150 years ...
The Carlton side of 1900 at their home ground next to Blackford Avenue
Carlton has played cricket at 180 Grange Loan - on our rather unconventional site - for over a century. But our current ground is our third home in the Grange area.
The club was founded in 1863, playing on various grounds around Edinburgh – including the Meadows (where some of our lower-league sides still play) and Stockbridge Park, close to the current home of arch-rivals, Grange. (Grange CC's first ground was just south of Grange Loan but they subsequently moved to Stockbridge, retaining the “Grange” name and causing much confusion to this day.)
Carlton moved in the other direction in 1866, renting land just south of Grange Loan, which became known as the ‘Carlton Ground’. However, wickets were notoriously poor, so three years later, the club moved the short distance south west to “Little Transilvania” (a reference to trees/silviculture, not vampires) on the other side of St Thomas Road.
Playing conditions remained sub-standard, despite strenuous efforts over the following decades, so in time for the start of the 1905 season the club moved to the ground it occupies today – then known as ‘Grange Park’. Following a three day ‘Fancy Fair and Carnival’ organised by Secretary N.L. Stevenson, the club raised the considerable amount for the time of £1800. This money was sorely needed as the ground had formerly been used to exercise horses, and the funds were put towards clearing the land of trees, levelling and laying the square, and erecting our first cricket pavilion.
'The Scottish referee' reported in April 1904: “After being housed in what might be termed rather indifferent and unsuitable grounds since 1863, the Carlton have at last determined to flit, and it is satisfactory to be able to state that their new ground at Grange Park, which is within a few minutes’ walk of the old field, is one of the finest in the district. The turf is hardly fit for this season’s work, but by another year it should be in grand order.”
And indeed the new ground was opened on May 17 1905, when Carlton hosted West of Scotland.
As the Grange area was extensively built-up in the latter half of the 19th Century, firstly with town houses, then more recently with higher-density flats, our old grounds have been built-over. However, Carlton happily remain at our unique current home - a haven for cricket and an amenity for residents in the local area to enjoy.