St Andrews

St Andrews

Infobox UK place
official_name= St. Andrews
gaelic_name= Cill Rìmhinn (modern);
Cell Rígmonaid,
Ceann Righmonaidh (obsolete)

population= 18,000
latitude= 56.336978
longitude= -2.799761
country= Scotland
post_town= ST ANDREWS
postcode_area= KY
postcode_district= KY16
dial_code= 01334
constituency_westminster= North East Fife
scots_name= Sanct Androis
unitary_scotland= Fife
lieutenancy_scotland= Fife
constituency_scottish_parliament= Fife North East Mid Scotland and Fife

St Andrews ( _gd. Cill Rìmhinn) is a town and former royal burgh on the east coast of Fife, Scotland. It is named after Saint Andrew the Apostle. It has a population of about 18,000, and stands on the North Sea coast between Edinburgh and Dundee. It is home to Scotland's oldest university, the University of St Andrews.

From mediaeval times until the Reformation, St Andrews was the ecclesiastical capital of Scotland: its bishop being the primus of the Scottish church. Today, its historic cathedral lies in ruins.

The town of St Andrews is known worldwide as the "home of golf". This is in part because the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, founded in 1754, exercises legislative authority over the game worldwide (except in the United States and Mexico), and also because the famous links (acquired by the town in 1894) is the most frequent venue for The Open Championship, the oldest of golf's four major championships. Visitors travel to St Andrews in great numbers for several courses ranked amongst the finest in the world, as well as for the sandy beaches.

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.


A Pictish stronghold probably stood on the site of St Andrews, and tradition declares that Kenneth, the patron saint of Kennoway, established a "Céli Dé" monastery here in the 6th century. The place is not actually attested in contemporary records until 747, when the Irish annals report the death of Túathalán, abbot of "Cennrígmonaid" (Old Irish for "head of the King's "monad", "monad" being a broad term meaning anything from "mountain" to "pastureland"). The foundations of the little church dedicated to the Virgin were discovered on the Kirkheugh in 1860. Another "Céli Dé" church of St Mary on the Rock is supposed to have stood on the Lady's Craig, now covered by the sea.

In the 12th and 13th centuries, the settlement had the name of Kilrymont (a Normanized spelling of "Cell Rígmonaid", "the church of the King's "monad") or of Muckross ("the promontory of the boars"). Another legend tells how Saint Regulus or Rule (Riagail), the bishop of Patras, Achaea, was guided hither bearing the relics of Saint Andrew. The Pictish king Angus MacFergus gave him a tract of land called the "Boar's Raik", perhaps preserved in the nearby settlement of Boarhills of the present day, and the name of the spot was changed to "St Andrews".

St Andrews is said to have become a bishopric in the 9th century, and when the Pictish and Scottish churches merged in 908, the primacy was transferred to it from Dunkeld, its bishop becoming thereafter known as "bishop" or "high bishop of Scotland" ("ardepiscop 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 functioned as one of the most important ports north of the Forth and allegedly had 14,000 inhabitants, but it fell into decay after the violent Scottish Reformation and the English Civil War. Daniel 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.

Still, by the late-19th century the town was dilapidated. The masters at the university complained of the conditions and contemplated moving either to Perth or to Dumfries. In the 1960s the town was revitalised by growth in the university and the growing popularity of golf.

Weather and Climate

St Andrews has a temperate maritime climate, which is relatively mild despite its northerly latitude. Winters are not as cold as one might expect, considering that Moscow and Labrador in Newfoundland and Labrador lie on the same latitude. Daytime temperatures can fall below freezing and average around 4 °C. Night-time frosts are common, however snowfall is more rare. The lowest winter temperature recorded in St Andrews is -14 °C.Fact|date=November 2007 Summer temperatures are normally moderate, with daily upper maxima rarely exceeding 20 °C.Being on the east coast of Scotland, it is often subject to the fog, or “haar” which rolls off the North Sea and can linger for several days at a time.



The ruins of the Cathedral of St Andrew, at one time Scotland's largest building, originated in the priory of Canons Regular founded by Bishop Robert (1122 - 1159). It was not completed and consecrated until 1318 in the reign of Robert the Bruce (1306-29). The Cathedral and its associated conventual buildings were sacked and gradually became ruinous after the Reformation in 1559 as stone from the cathedral was used for local buildings. At the end of the 17th century, some of the priory buildings remained entire and considerable remains of others existed, but nearly all traces have now disappeared except much of the defensive Priory wall, with its towers and gates. To the west of the Cathedral, the 14th century main gateway into the Cathedral precinct, known as the Pends, also survives.

Apart from most of the east and west gables, the south nave wall, and parts of the south transept, the Cathedral itself has been reduced to its foundations by stone robbing. Fragments can be found built into the older buildings throughout the town. A site museum (Historic Scotland; entrance charge) contains an impressive collection of stonework from all phases of the Cathedral's history, from early medieval to 17th century. The most important single piece is the St Andrews Sarcophagus, a masterpiece of 8th century Pictish sculpture.

St Rule's Tower

St Rule's tower is located in the Cathedral grounds but predates it, probably itself having been part of the Cathedral up to the early 12th century. The building was retained to allow worship to continue uninterrupted during the building of its much larger successor. Originally, the tower and adjoining choir were part of a church built probably in the 11th century to hold the relics of St Andrew. The nave, with twin western turrets, and the apse of the church no longer stand. The church's original appearance is illustrated in stylised form on some of the early seals of the Cathedral Priory. Legend credits St Rule (also known as St Regulus) with bringing relics of St Andrew to the area from their original location at Patras in Greece. Today the tower commands an admirable view of the town, harbour, sea, and surrounding countryside. Beautifully built in grey sandstone ashlar, and immensely tall, it is a land- and sea-mark seen from many miles away, its prominence doubtless meant to guide pilgrims to the place of the Apostle's relics. In the Middle Ages a spire atop the tower made it even more prominent. The tower was originally ascended using ladders between wooden floors, but a stone spiral staircase was inserted in the 18th century (Historic Scotland; entrance charge to Tower and site museum).



Parish Church of the Holy Trinity

Bishop Thurgot founded the town church (officially known as the Parish Church of the Holy Trinity) in 1112. Originally standing close to the east end of the Cathedral, the parish church was moved in the 15th century to a new site on the north side of South Street. This was one of Scotland's largest parish churches, with a round-pillared nave and chancel, and a north-west tower crowned by a stone spire. Largely rebuilt in the 18th century, the church was restored to a (more elaborately decorated) approximation of its medieval appearance in the early 20th century. Only the tower, part of the west wall and the internal pillars survive from the original building. 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. Holy Trinity contains an elaborate monument in white marble to James Sharp, Archbishop of St Andrews (assassinated 1679). A rare survival from the Middle Ages are a few of the church's elegantly carved choir stalls, thought to have been carved by the famous French sculptor James Bentley.

Holy Trinity Parish Church is a congregation of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. The current (2008) minister is the Rev. Rory MacLeod and the Associate Minister is the Rev. Dr. Ian C. Bradley

The town also has other churches, including three other Church of Scotland congregations (St Leonard's, Martyrs' and Hope Park), a Free Church of Scotland, two Scottish Episcopal Church congregations (St Andrew's and All Saints'), a Baptist church, a Roman Catholic church (St James' built in 1909), the Eden Church, a Gospel Hall, a Religious Society of Friends (Quaker) Meeting House and a Kingdom Vineyard Fellowship.

Chapel of the Blackfriars

In South Street stands the elegant late medieval ruin of the north transept of the chapel of the Dominican Friary, founded by Bishop Wishart in 1274, the only part of the House of the Blackfriars to remain above ground.

All traces of the Observantine Franciscan Friary founded about 1450 by Bishop Kennedy have disappeared, except the well and a small section of boundary wall.


The University of St Andrews

The 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 Stephenson, afterwards bishop of Dunblane, and a few others. Bishop Henry Wardlaw (died 1440) issued a charter in 1411 and attracted the most learned men in Scotland as professors. In 1413 Avignon Pope Benedict XIII issued six bulls confirming the charter and constituting the society a university. Lectures took place in various parts of the town until 1430, when Wardlaw allowed the lecturers the use of a building called the "Paedagogium", or St Johns College. Bishop Kennedy founded and richly endowed St Salvator's College in 1450; seven years later it gained the right 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 Prior John Hepburn and Archbishop Alexander Stewart founded St Leonard's College on the site of the buildings which at one time served as a hostel for pilgrims. In the same year Archbishop Stewart nominally changed the original "Paedagogium" 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 has survived, but various restorations have much altered its general character. It forms two sides of a quadrangle, the library and principal's residence standing on the north and the lecture rooms and the old dining-hall to the west.

The University library, which now includes the older college libraries, was founded in 1612, 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 Mary's was set apart for theology; and in 1747 the colleges of St Salvator and St Leonard were formed into the United College. A co-educational school now occupies the buildings of St Leonards.

structure, containing an elaborate tomb of Bishop Kennedy and Knox's pulpit.

The modern buildings, in the Jacobean style, were erected between 1827 and 1847. University College, Dundee, became in 1890 affiliated to the University of St Andrews. The House of Lords set aside this arrangement in 1895, but a re-affiliation took place in 1897. This affiliation ended in 1967 with the founding of the University of Dundee. 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 in 1896 a permanent building was opened for the board and residence of women students. To the south of the library, the Bute Medical Buildings, erected by the munificence of the 3rd Marquess of Bute, was 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

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

t Leonards

St Leonards [] , founded in 1877 as an all-girls school, is now a co-educational school for 3-18 year olds.


St Andrews has a variety of sporting activities open to the public. The East Sands Leisure Centre, which sits on the outskirts of the town, is a popular place for tourists wishing to swim, play pool or even keep fit in the gym. On the local East Sands beach, surfing is possible though big waves are a rarity that are more common during the winter months. Kite flying is often found on the West Sands beach. Being the "Home of Golf", it is understandable that golf is St Andrews' most popular sport. Where it may cost £130 for an adult to play on the Old Course (as of 2008) [] , it costs only a fraction of that to play on some of the other links courses. There are 7 links golf courses in all; Old, New, Jubilee, Eden, Strathtyrum, Balgove and the Castle Course.

Other places of interest:

* St Andrews Tennis Club
* St Andrews University Sports Centre
* Madras Rugby Club
* St Andrews Links Golf Driving Range


Prior to 1975 the town was governed by a council, provost and baillies. In 1975, St Andrews came under Fife Regional Council and North East Fife District Council, since merged to create a single-tier Fife Council. St Andrews retains its own Community Council.

According to the 1911 records, the town gave 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. Currently, St Andrews is part of the North East Fife Parliamentary Constituency, which is represented in the UK Parliament by Sir Menzies Campbell CBE QC MP and in the Scottish Parliament by Iain Smith MSP.

The Royal Burgh of St Andrews has an active community council [ Royal Burgh of St Andrews Community Council]


who established Madras College.

The British actress Judi Dench was awarded an honorary degree by the St Andrews University. She was made a Doctor of Letters (D.Litt) on Tuesday 24 June 2008. [,21556,en.html Distinguished actress to be honoured by University]

St Andrews' only radio station- St Andrews Radio- broadcasts during University of St Andrews term time and is run by a dedicated group of students.

ee also

*Bishop of St Andrews
*Celtic art - Pictish stones at St Andrews.
*St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church []

External links

* [ Royal Burgh of St Andrews Community Council]
*wikitravel|St Andrews
* [ St Andrews Links]
* [ St Andrews Golf Blog - Information on golf in St Andrews and the surrounding area]
* [ St Andrews Radio]



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