Recreation Ground (Whitehaven)

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Recreation Ground
Location Whitehaven, Cumbria
Coordinates 54°32′23″N 3°35′3″W / 54.53972°N 3.58417°W / 54.53972; -3.58417Coordinates: 54°32′23″N 3°35′3″W / 54.53972°N 3.58417°W / 54.53972; -3.58417
Capacity 7,500
Record attendance 18,650 v Wakefield Trinity
Surface Grass
Broke ground 1933
Built 1948
Opened 1948
Renovated 1973
Expanded 1995
Whitehaven (1948-)

The Recreation Ground (known locally as the 'Recre') is a rugby league stadium in Whitehaven, Cumbria, England. It is the home of Whitehaven.

The ground has witnessed many other sports such as football, boxing, speedway and whippet racing.


The ground now has terracing on 3 sides with one end of ground, the Kells end, covered. The other sides are known the Popular side, the Railway end and the LLWR Grandstand which seats 556. The ground is set to have a second seated stand holding 1,100 people where the Popular side terracing now stands. The current ground capacity is 7,500.

There is a disabled supporters view area in the grandstand with disabled toilets located within the ground while the JJ McKeown bar has disabled access.

Matchday parking is available on the Whitehaven Miners' car park adjacent to the stadium main entrance.


The Recreation Ground was originally the playing fields for local coal miners dating back to Victorian times and was owned by the Miners' Welfare organisation. The ground was used for junior sides and hosted a Challenge Cup match when the juniors beat St. Helens 13-8 in front of 2,000 spectators.

It was an enclosed field with one wooden stand and opened in 1933. Today the link with the Miners' Welfare poses a potential brake on any outside investment in the ground itself which remains an obstacle in Whitehaven's attempts to join Super League.

The Recreation Ground in its current form was built in 1948 to enable the newly formed Whitehaven to play in the Rugby Football League.

The ground's record attendance was set in 1960 when 18,650 spectators turned up for a third round Challenge Cup game against Wakefield Trinity.

The Kells end stand steel framework was built in 1961.

In 1973 the ground acquired floodlights.

The old wooden grandstand was demolished in 1995 and the B&H Motors Grandstand was built to replace it.

Work began on the stadium in late November 2014 to meet RFL operating rules for Championship clubs for 2015. The Kells end stand was shot blasted, the steel framework repainted and the cladding replaced with new galvanised sheeting. In addition, new changing facilities under the grandstand were built. The next phase of the work to commence later in 2005 is to upgrade the floodlights and increase the ground’s seating capacity to meet RFL requirements. Britain’s Energy Coast financed the improvements.

Rugby League Internationals[edit]

The Recreation Ground has played host to just two rugby league international matches in its history.[1]

Test# Date Result Attendance Notes
1 4 February 1926  England def. Other Nationalities 37–11 10,000
2 17 November 2000 United Kingdom BARLA def.  Japan 54–0 2000 Rugby League Emerging Nations Tournament

Rugby League Tour matches[edit]

The Recreation Ground has also played host to various international touring and domestic teams.

Game# Date Result Attendance Notes
1 24 October 1908 Australian colours.svg Australia def. Cumbria Cumberland 52–10 4,000 1908–09 Kangaroo Tour
2 9 December 1933 Cumbria Cumberland def. Australian colours.svg Australia 17–16 5,800 1933–34 Kangaroo Tour
3 14 October 1948 Cumbria Cumberland def. Australian colours.svg Australia 5–4 8,818 1948–49 Kangaroo Tour
4 13 September 1952 Australian colours.svg Australia def. Haven colours.svg Whitehaven 15–5 9,253 1953–52 Kangaroo Tour
5 20 October 1956 Haven colours.svg Whitehaven def. Australian colours.svg Australia 14–11 10,840 1956–57 Kangaroo Tour
6 22 October 1959 Australian colours.svg Australia def. Aspley Broncos colours.svg Whitehaven / Workington XIII 13–8 7,463 1959–60 Kangaroo Tour
7 24 October 1973 Australian colours.svg Australia def. Cumbria Cumberland 28–2 3,666 1973 Kangaroo Tour
8 8 October 1980 Cumbria Cumbria def. New Zealand Kiwis colours.svg New Zealand 9–3 4,070 1980 New Zealand Kiwis tour
9 19 October 2003 Cumbria Cumbria drew with New Zealand Kiwis colours.svg New Zealand A 24–24 4,124
10 3 October 2010 Cumbria Cumbria drew with England colours.svg England 18–18 5,250
11 22 October 2011 England colours.svg England Knights def. Cumbria Cumbria 26–12 1,163


External links[edit]