St Andrews, on the Fife coast, a famous seat of learning and
the home of golf. As the former metropolitan see of Scotland,
the city was in the mainstream of Scottish history and its rich
heritage includes a 12th Century cathedral, 13th Century castle
and 15th Century university. Today the town has a charm all
its own and is a busy holiday resort in summer, reverting to
the role of a university town in term time with an active cultural
was an early ecclesiastical settlement associated with relics
of St Andrew, it grew in importance with the founding of the
St Regulus Church, a priory in the 12th Century and finally
a grandiose cathedral, all of which eclipsed the Celtic settlement
of St Mary on the Rock. The monastic establishment renowned
as a seat of learning was the precursor of the university. With
a growing university attracting scholars and students of a high
calibre. 15th Century St Andrews was an active and prosperous
burgh well meriting the attribution of a national role as ecclesiastical
capital of Scotland in 1472. Prosperity and the population declined
in the 17th Century, owing in part to the loss of the archbishopric
(1689 Revolution), the changing trading patterns (now with the
American colonies), as well as the political changes after the
1707 Act of Union. The 18th Century was also one of general
Century saw the beginning of the growth of golf as a sport and
by the turn of the century the town had achieved renown as a
Mecca of golf. Its popularity as a holiday and golfing resort
has gone from strength to strength.Tour St
Andrews for Golf, a Royal and Ancient Game
St Andrew's links with swards of springy turf and sand bunkers
have, since the 15th Century, been a place for playing golf
or the early ball and stick version of this sport. So popular
was the game that by 1457 an Act of Scottish Parliament was
passed requiring that "futeball and the goife be utterly
cryit down" in favour of kirk attendance and archery practice.
Mary, Queen of Scots was an occasional player, her son James
VI popularised the game in England and both James Melville and
the Marquess of Montrose played here as students. Founded in
1754, the Society of St Andrews Golfers had the title Royal
and Ancient conferred on it by William IV in 1834 and is now
recognised as the ruling body. To meet the increasing popularity
of the sport, new courses (New 1895, Jubilee 1897, Eden 1912)
were laid out supplementing the Old Course, which was established
several centuries ago.By the beginning
of the 20th Century St Andrews was firmly established as the
golfing Mecca and the town now regularly hosts the British Open
and Amateur Championships. Walker Cup Matches and a variety
of other big money tournaments which draw the stars of the professional
circuit, bringing record-breaking crowds despite television
coverage. Two of the greatest names in golfing history are immortalised
by hole names on the Old Course: Tom Morris (18th) and Bobby
St Andrews - St Andrews University
Founded in 1410 (1413 Papal Bull) by Henry Wardlaw, Bishop of
St Andrews, it was the first in Scotland and third in Great
Britain after Oxford and Cambridge. Typical of medieval colleges,
there were no buildings until the Pedagogy was built in 1430,
followed by the Colleges of St Salvator's (1450). St Leonard's
(1512) and St Mary's (1537). Three of Scotland's 15th Century
poets, William Dunbar, Gavin Douglas and Sir David Lindsay,
all studied here. By the 16th Century St Leonard's was already
associated with reformist doctrines and university associations
with leading figures of the Reformation are numerous: Patrick
Hamilton, Alexander Alane (Alesius), Henry Scrimger as well
as Andrew and James Melville. The resultant struggles with the
established ecclesiastical hierarchy and the Crown are well
known historical events.Towards
the end of the 17th Century decline had set in but although
the proposal to transfer the University to Perth fell through,
it continued into the 18th Century, when St Leonard's and St
Salvator's were amalgamated to form United College in 1747.
The 19th Century was a period of reforms and reorganisation
and the student population reached its lowest ebb in the 1870s
with a total of 130. By the end of the 19th Century, and the
1897 union with Dundee, numbers were in constant progression.
Despite the loss of Queen's in 1967, the present student population
of 4,250 has greatly enlarged premises, and is once again largely
St Andrews Cathedral. St Andrews Cathedral.
The 16th Century precinct wall encloses the cathedral ruins
and the church of St Regulus (Rule). The imposing St Regulus
Church with its lofty western tower may well have been the shrine
built to shelter St Andrew's relics. Queen Margaret's son, Alexander
I, nominated Robert, Prior of Scone as Bishop of St Andrews,
and it was he who built the church between 1127 and 1144. The
tower (51 steps) has a magnificent panorama of St Andrews and
its main monuments.Bishop Robert
founded the priory c 1159 and his successor Bishop Arnold began
work on the new cathedral, which was consecrated in 1318 by
Bishop Lamberton in the presence of Robert the Bruce. Only the
12th Century east end, late 13th Century west gables and the
south wall of the nave remain of this once immense building
with its 10-bay nave. Following the depredations of the Reformation.
subsequent neglect and 17th Century quarrying for stone, this
once noble building was reduced to the extant ruins. To the
south were the buildings of what must have been one of the most
powerful monastic establishments in Scotland. Foundations indicate
the layout.The museum
has a good collection of early Christian sculptured stones -fragments
of 8C-9C cross slabs - from St Mary of the Rock and a superb
8C or 1 OC sarcophagus.
St Andrews Castle. St Andrews Castle.
Overlooking the foreshore, the ruins once formed part of the
palace and stronghold of the Bishops and Archbishops of St Andrews.
The castle, founded c 1200. suffered greatly during the Wars
of Independence. Bishop Henry Wardlaw, founder of the university,
was tutor to James I and it is possible that his young charge
spent time here prior to his captivity in England. Bishop Kennedy
taught James II how to break the power of his nobles by comparing
them to a bundle of arrows, with the suggestion he snap each
one individually.Many reformers
suffered imprisonment here, including George Wishart whom Cardinal
Beaton had burnt at the stake in front of his palace, and Patrick
Hamilton another martyr. Following the martyrdom of Wishart,
a group of Protestants seeking revenge gained admission to the
castle disguised as stonemasons and murdered Cardinal Beaton
They held the castle for a year and were joined at intervals
by others such as John Knox, and the siege was only lifted when
the garrison capitulated to the French fleet. The besieged were
taken to France and Knox was sent to the galleys.The late-16th
Century entrance range with the central Fore Tower, originally
flanked by two round towers, was the work of Archbishop Hamilton
and it was supposedly from this facade (the exact spot is contested)
that the body of Cardinal Beaton was displayed to the crowd.
The buildings were arranged around a courtyard. In what remains
of the northwest or Sea Tower is the grim Bottle Dungeon of
late 14th Century construction; 24ft deep it is hewn out of
solid rock. The other interesting items are a mine and counter
mine excavated during the 1546-47 siege.In the pavement
in front of the castle are the initials of George Wishart marking
the spot where he was burnt at the stake in 1546.
Buildings, St Salvator's College
Now the centre of United College. St Salvator's was founded
in 1450 by Bishop James Kennedy. The chapel and tower, above
the entrance archway, form the North Street frontage and are
a good example of 15th Century Gothic ecclesiastical style.
The two ranges around the quadrangle are 19th Century reconstructions.
St Salvator's Chapel was, according to Dr Johnson. "the
neatest place of worship he had seen". The collegiate church
was restored in the 19C and 20C. Inside is the founder's tomb,
an amazingly intricate 15C work of art in the Gothic style.
The pulpit opposite, with the preacher's hourglass, is supposedly
the one used by John Knox. The initials PH laid in the pavement
before the entrance, mark the spot where Patrick Hamilton (1504-28).
one of the early reformers, was burned on 29 February 1528.
The chapel belonged to the college of the same name. The original
buildings were a hospital for pilgrims to St Andrew's shrine,
then a nunnery, before being acquired to form the nucleus of
the new college of St Leonard's. When St Leonard's and St Salvator's
were united in 1747. the chapel was neglected while the buildings
and grounds were eventually taken over by St Leonard's girls'
school. The 1950s restoration recreated the medieval layout
with a screen and organ loft dividing the building in two.
In the early days of the university, classes were held in the
priory buildings until Bishop Henry Wardlaw provided the Pedagogy
(1430). This was superseded 100 years later when Archbishop
James Beaton founded St Mary's College (1537). The college became
a theological College in 1579. The buildings on the west side
of the quadrangle are 16th Century. On the ground floor. College
Hall has portraits of past principals including Cardinal Beaton.
Up two flights of stairs is one of the original student chambers
with box beds. On the north side is the old University Library,
on the site of the original Pedagogy, which is now refurbished
as the Psychology Department. On the street front there are
a series of arms of University Chancellors. The first floor
Senate Room is part of a 19C extension. The two Joseph Knibb
longcase clocks flanking the fireplace were part of Gregory's
equipment. Both Archbishop Sharp and Cardinal Beaton are portrayed
amongst the notables.
Upper Hall (1612-43), "elegant and luminous" according to Johnson,
is a galleried room panelled with pale Baltic pine. This was
where Gregory, the Astronomer (1638-75) and inventor of the
reflecting telescope, worked. The ground floor Parliament Hall
completed in 1643 is where the Scottish Parliament sat in 1645-46
following the Battle of Philiphaugh.
St Andrews, Around Town
The town has retained its original layout with three main streets
- South, Market and North Streets - converging on the cathedral.
The main entrance to the old town, it was built in 1589 and
opens onto South Street.
This is all that remains of a mid-15th Century foundation for
Dominican Friars. The chapel dates from the 16th Century: note
the three-sided termination. The imposing building behind is
part of Madras College.
Trinity Church Holy Trinity Church.
This burgh church, rebuilt in 1410, was modified in the late
18th Centry and restored in the 20th Century. Only the corbelled
tower with the stone steeple is 15th Century. Inside, Archbishop
Sharp's monument graphically records his death in 1679 on Magus
A 16th Century house in attractive rubble stonework with a pantile
This 16C building is now a post-graduate students' residence.
A 14th Century vaulted gatehouse which was the main entrance
to the priory. The road follows the precinct wall down to the
Rebuilt in the 17th Century with stone from the castle and cathedral. St Andrews Harbour Photographs.
of St Mary of the Rock
This was the site of the 12th Century Celtic settlement which
was gradually superseded by St Regulus and the new cathedral
and Ancient Golf Club
For club members only. The imposing 1854 clubhouse overlooks
the 1st and 18th holes of the Old Course and is the headquarters
of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club.
The museum is a must for golfing enthusiasts. Five hundred years
of golf history come alive by means of audio-visual displays
and interactive screen presentations: the origins of the game.
the development of the equipment - wooden shafts replaced by
steel, featheries by guttas and rubber-cores - and famous golfing
events and personalities.
The species of marine life include: stingrays, sharks, conger
eels, catfish and exotic types of fish and marine creatures
which adapt to habitats such as rock pools, harbours, reefs
and wrecks. There is an outdoor seal pool.
Its attractions include the rhododendrons of the Peat Garden,
the colourful Heath Garden, the alpine varieties of the Rock
Garden and the Water Garden with exotic species and moor plants
and the glasshouses.
St. Andrews can best be seen on foot. Start at the old harbor
and walk up to the St Andrews Cathedral and St Andrews Castle and the onwards to
the " Old Course " and beach. A further walk up North Street,
Market Street and South Street will provide the walker with
an opportunity to visit most of the best sites in St. Andrews, including the which is the ‘mother church’ of St. Andrews..
Andrews is ideally located for easy trips to the East Neuk,
North Fife, Dunfermline, Culross, Perth, Edinburgh, Falkland
Palace, and all of historic Fife and Perthshire.
you would like to visit this area as part of a highly personalized
small group tour of my native Scotland please e-mail me: