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St Andrews

See St Andrews, Australia for St Andrews, Sydney, Australia.
Named after Saint Andrew, the Royal Burgh of St Andrews is a coastal town in Fife, Scotland, and the home of golf. It has a population of about 18,000, and is on the east coast, roughly between Edinburgh and Dundee.

The city has been called the Mecca of Golf, partly because the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, founded in 1754, is the legislative authority of the game, and partly because its beautiful links (St Andrews Links) acquired by the town in 1894 and containing several courses ranked amongst the finest in the world. For the sake of the game, the bracing air and the bathing which the sandy beach of its bay affords, visitors are attracted to St Andrews in great numbers.

The Martyrs Memorial, erected to the honour of Patrick Hamilton, George Wishart, and other martyrs of the Reformation epoch, stands at the west end of the Scores on a cliff overlooking the sea.

Table of contents
1 Buildings
2 University
3 History
4 External Link
5 Reference


The cathedral originated partly in the priory of Canons Regular founded by Bishop Robert (1122-1159). At the end of the 17th century some of the priory buildings were still entire and considerable remains of others existed, but nearly all traces have now disappeared except portions of the priory wall and the archways, known as the Pends.

The cathedral was founded by Bishop Arnold (1159-1162), to supply more accommodation than was afforded by the church of St Regulus. Of this church in the Romanesque style, probably dating from the ioth century, there remain the square tower, 108 ft. in height, and the choir, of very diminutive proportions. On a plan of the town, about 1530, a chance! appears, and on seals affixed to the city and college charters there are representations of other buildings attached.

The building was finished in the time of Bishop Lamberton (1297-1328), and was dedicated on the 5 July 1318, the ceremony being witnessed by Robert Bruce. When entire it had, besides a central tower, six turrets, of which two at the east and one of the two at the west extremity, rising to a height of 100 ft., remain. The building was partly destroyed by fire in 1378, and the restoration and further embellishment were completed in 1440. It was stripped of its altars and images in 1559. It is believed that about the end of the 16th century the central tower gave way, carrying with it the north wall. Afterwards large portions of the ruins were taken away for building purposes, and nothing was done to preserve them until 1826. Since then it has been tended with scrupulous care, an interesting feature being the cutting out of the ground-plan in the turf. The principal portions extant, partly Norman and partly Early Scottish, are the east and west gables, the greater part of the south wall of the nave and the west wall of the south transept.

The picturesque ruins of the castle are situated on a rocky promontory much worn away by the sea. It is supposed to have been erected by Bishop Roger about the beginning of the 13th century as an episcopal residence, and was strongly fortified. It was frequently taken by the English, and after it had been captured by the Scottish regent, Andrew Murray, in 1336-1337, was destroyed lest it should fall into their hands, Towards the close of the century it was rebuilt by Bishop Trail in the form of a massive fortification with a moat on the south and west sides. James I spent some of his early years within it under the care of Bishop Wardlaw, and it was the birthplace of James III 1445. From a window in the castle Cardinal Beaton witnessed the burning of George Wishart in front of the gate 1546, and in the same year he was murdered within it by a party of Reformers. The castle was taken from the conspirators by the French, among the prisoners captured being John Knox. Some years afterwards it was repaired by Archbishop Hamilton, but in less massive and less substantial form. By 1656, however, it had fallen into such disrepair that the town council ordered the materials to be used for repairing the pier. The principal remains are a portion of the south wall enclosing a square tower, the bottle dungeon so named from its shape: it was a cell hewn out of the solid rockbelow the north-west tower, the kitchen tower and a curious subterranean passage. The grounds have been laid out as a public garden.

The town church, formerly the church of the Holy Trinity, was originally founded in 1112 by Bishop Turgot. The early building was a beautiful Norman structure, but at the close of the 18th century the whole, with the exception of little else than the square tower and spire, was re-erected in a plain and ungainly style. In this church John Knox first preached in public (May or June) 1547, and in it, on 4 June 1559, he delivered the famous sermon from St Matthew xxi. 12, 13, which led to the stripping of the cathedral and the destruction of the monastic buildings. The church contains an elaborate monument in white marble to James Sharp, archbishop of St Andrews (assassinated) 1679. In South Street stands the lovely ruin of the north transept of the chapel of the Blackfriars monastery founded by Bishop Wishart in 1274; but all traces of the Observantine monastery founded about 1450 by Bishop Kennedy have disappeared, except the well.


The great University of St Andrews owed its origin to a society formed in 1410 by Lawrence of Lindores, abbot of Scone, Richard Cornwall, archdeacon of Lothian, William Stephen, afterwards archbishop of Dunblane, and a few others. A charter was issued in 1411 by Bishop Henry Wardlaw (d. 1440), who attracted the most learned men in Scotland as professors, and six bulls were obtained from Benedict XIII in 1413 confirming the charter and constituting the society a university. The lectures were delivered in various parts of the town until 1430, when Wardlaw allowed the lecturers the use of a building called the Paedagogium, or St Johns. St Salvators College was founded and richly endowed by Bishop Kennedy in 1456; seven years later it was granted the power to confer degrees in theology and philosophy, and by the end of the century was regarded as a constituent part of the university. In 1512 St Leonards College was founded by Prior John Hepburn and Archbishop Alexander Stewart on the site of the buildings which at one time were used as a hospital for pilgrims. In the same year Archbishop Stewart nominally changed the original Pacdagogium into a college and annexed to it the parish church of St Michael of Tarvet; but its actual erection into a college did not take place until 1537, when it was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Assumption. The outline of the ancient structure is preserved, but its general character has been much altered by various restorations. It forms two sides of a quadrangle, the library and principals residence being on the north and the lecture rooms and the old dining-hall on the west. The University library, which now includes the older college libraries, was founded about the middle of the 17th century, rebuilt in 1764, and improved in 1829 and 1889-1890. The lower hall in the older part of the building was used at times as a provincial meeting-place for the Scottish parliament. When the constitution of the colleges was remodelled in 1579 St Marys was set apart for theology; and in 1747 the colleges of St Salvator and St Leonard were formed into the United College. The buildings of St Leonards are now occupied as a school for girls. The tiny St Leonards college chapel is still owned by the University and candle-lit services are held weekly during term-time. The United College occupies the site of St Salvators College, but the old buildings have been removed, with the exception of the college chapel, now used as the university chapel and the parish church of St Leonards, a fine Gothic structure, containing an elaborate tomb of Bishop Kennedy and Knox's pulpit; the entrance gateway, with a square clock tower (152 ft.); and the janitors house with some classrooms above. The modern building, in the Elizabethan style, was erected between 1827 and 1847. University College, Dundee, was in 1890 affiliated to the University of St Andrews. This arrangement was set aside by the House of Lords in 1895, but a reaffiliation took place in 1897. In 1887-1888 a common dining-hall for the students was established; in 1892 provision was made within the university for the instruction of women; and for the board and residence of women students a permanent building was opened in 1896. To the south of the library medical buildings, erected by the munificence of the 3rd marquess of Bute, were opened in 1899 It was during the principalship of Dr James Donaldson, who succeeded John Tulloch (1823-1886), that most of the modern improvements were introduced.

Madras College, founded and endowed by Dr Andrew Bell (1755-1832), a native of the city, is a famous high school.

The town, which is governed by a council, provost and bailies, gives its name to the district group of burghs for returning one member to parliament, the other constituents being the two Anstruthers, Crail, Cupar, Kilrenny and Pittenweem.


St Andrews was probably the site of a Pictish stronghold, and tradition declares that Kenneth, the patron saint of Kennoway, established a Culdee monastery here in the 6th century. The foundations of the little church dedicated to the Virgin were discovered on the Kirkheugh in 1860. Another Culdee church of St Mary on the Rock is supposed to have stood on the Ladys Craig, now covered by the sea. At that period the name of the place was Kilrymont (Gaelic, The church of the Kings Mount ) or Muckross. Another legend tells how St Regulus or Rule, the bishop of Patras in Achaea, was guided hither bearing the relics of Saint Andrew. The Pictish king Angus gave him a tract of land called the Boat Chase, no doubt the Boar hills of the present day, and the name of the spot was changed to St Andrews, the saint soon afterwards (747) becoming the patron-saint of Scotland. St Andrews is said to have been made a bishopric in the 9th century, and when the Pictish and Scottish churches were united in 908, the primacy was transferred to it from Dunkeld, its bishops being thereafter known as bishops of Alban. It became an archbishopric during the primacy of Patrick Graham (1466-1478). The town was created a royal burgh in 1124. In the 16th century St Andrews was one of the most important ports north of the Forth and is said to have numbered 14,000 inhabitants, but it fell into decay after the Civil War. Defoe says that when he saw it one-sixth of its houses were ruinous and the sea had so encroached on the harbour that it was never likely to be restored; but the slight improvement in trade and public spirit which Bishop Pococke seemed to detect in 1760 continued throughout the 19th century.

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