Richmond Athletic Ground (The RAG) – the beating heart of Richmond since the 1880s
The historic 26-acre Richmond Athletic Ground, located in the heart of Richmond and adjoining Kew Gardens, has a fascinating background having been home to rugby, football, cricket, the Royal Richmond Horse Show, the 1899 Motor Show and host to some of rock’s greatest bands.
Our oldest facility, our pavilion is listed and unusual in that there is a verandah on two sides, enabling views over both the main pitch and the pitches nearest the A316 Twickenham Road. Read more here: the Historic England page for the Pavilion at Richmond Athletic Ground.
Currently The RAG is the home to Richmond Rugby Club and London Scottish Rugby Club. The RAG also provides training facilities for various age groups of the Harlequins DPP and Belsize Park RFC. Kew Park Rangers FC also play football on Saturdays.
In the summer The RAG hosts a number of world-renowned Rugby 7s tournaments including The Law Society 7s, The National Surveyors’ 7s and The Lloyds 7s. The Summer Social has its base at The RAG, we host Tagfest London and host a popular Oktoberfest. The ground hosts the Annual Richmond Fireworks Display.
The Richmond Athletic Ground also hosts a number of major finals such as the Bill Beaumont County Championship Rugby Final.
Three iconic moments in The RAG's history
A home of international sport
The RAG has played host to a number of England Rugby internationals including the first-ever game against the All Blacks in 1888 and five Calcutta Cups between 1891 and 1909 (Scotland winning them all). We have also hosted an England football international; the England football team remain undefeated at Richmond Athletic Ground!
Original venue for what became The Reading Festival and host to musical legends
Back in 1961 the National Jazz Festival (which became The Reading Festival) began its life at The RAG with The Rolling Stones playing the 1963 festival. The festival moved both locations and music genres over the next decade before becoming the rock festival that we know today with Reading as its permanent home from 1971.
The 1960s also saw two giants of British rock music play at The RAG. The Who played in 1965 and the mighty Yes in 1969. Today, The RAG proudly hosts a regular evening for the historic Crawdaddy Club.
A royal connection
On a lighter note, Prince Harry was famously snapped being cheeky at a Wetherby School Sports Day held at The RAG in 1992!