The Royal and Ancient Clubhouse is an iconic image, recognisable to golfers worldwide. Yet it is very different to the building unveiled in the middle of the 19th century. Each elevation has changed over time, a result of the expansion that has taken place to meet the needs of the growing membership.
The foundation stone was laid on 13 July 1853. This event was treated as a ceremonial occasion, with long-standing R&A member and senior Freemason, John Whyte Melville, performing the honour. It began with a procession, accompanied by a band, from Madras College. Many St Andrews residents watched as Whyte Melville struck the foundation stone with a mallet and called for “the Great Architect of the Universe” to shower down his blessing upon the work”.
The project took eleven months to complete and was ready by 22 June, 1854.