How many high schools get to play football games and soccer matches in a castle? We’re guessing only one – Tennessee High.
One of Bristol’s most famous landmarks, the Stone Castle, home of the Vikings, is one of the most distinctive stadiums in the country. The structure features a design reminiscent of Medieval Gothic architecture and has a seating capacity of approximately 8,000.
Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987, the Castle, also known as Bristol Municipal Stadium, was built during The Great Depression by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). It is one of only two WPA stadiums in Tennessee that are still in use, the other being Crump Stadium in Memphis.
Construction began in 1934, and the stadium opened on Oct. 8, 1936. The construction cost of $34,000 was shared between the federal government and the City of Bristol. The Castle is built of rough rubble limestone obtained from a WPA project nearby. It features arched entries, 20-foot high crenelated walls, and unusual corner towers. Over the years, it has been used for various activities, including track and field events, band competitions, and graduation ceremonies.
In 1986, half a century after it first opened, the Stone Castle underwent a $500,000 renovation and now features artificial turf.
The stadium, which resembles an ancient fortress, has also used in previous years as a home football field for Virginia High School, Slater High School, and Douglass High School, the two former African-American schools in Bristol, King College (now University), and Emory & Henry College.