St Andrews Cathedral

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St Andrews Cathedral is situated on the Scores, a short walk from St Andrews town centre.

The Cathedral can be visited all year with an entrance fee. There is a museum and shop at the Cathedral. Postcode: KY16 9QL

Cathedral Map Large Images
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See also a large Click On Map for Top Attractions in the area.

The image top is from St Andrews Harbour looking up at St Andrews Cathedral with St Andrews Castle on the right on rocks.



The town of St Andrews is thought to have grown around the harbour with fishing then farming.

747 - there was a church at St Andrews sitting just above the Harbour, where the ruins of the small Chapel of St Mary on the Rock can be found today.

1120s - the much larger St Rule's Church was built next to the Chapel with a 100ft/33m high tower.

1158 - the building of St Andrews Cathedral begins next to St Rule's Church. This was the largest and most important medieval church in Scotland at 391ft / 119m long.

1180s - the earliest parts of St Andrews Castle were built for the wealthy Bishops from St Andrews Cathedral as their secure residence. The Castle and Cathedral are close to each other.

The Cathedral, Castle, and Town Walls were an impressive complex for the time, one of the most important and secure places in Scotland for worship.

The Bishops were powerful people, known for having people that crossed them locked up in the castle, or put to death in gruesome ways.

The Cathedral Museum covers information about the Bishops, the buildings, and different styles of graves from the Pictish St Andrews Sarcophagus in the 700s, to the grave of the famous golfer Old Tom Morris in 1908.

Many of the most ornate Grave Slabs are from the 1600s when wealthy people had symbols carved on the slabs for their religious beliefs, social class, occupation, and more.

Sculls and Bones can be seen on many Grave Markers from the 1600s and 1700s. This is just a symbol of death, nothing more sinister, so it is claimed.

1200s - 1300s - during the Wars of Scottish Independence, the Castle and Cathedral changed hands many times between the Scots and English.

1500s early - the Reformation reached Scotland with many people converting from Catholic to Protestant.

1546 - Archbishop of St Andrews, David Beaton, imprisoned the Protestant preacher George Wishart in the castle’s tower. Wishart was burnt at the stake outside the castle on March 1st.

1546 May - Wisharts friends gained entry to the castle and murdered Cardinal Beaton. They then set up the first Protestant congregation in Scotland. The castle was damaged in battles at this time.

1500s late - the Cathedral was abandoned as the Reformation had led to Catholic worship being banned in Scotland. Much of the stone from the Cathedral was used for other buildings in the town.

See St Andrews Castle for more information on battles and executions connected to the Castle and Cathedral.

Official website:
historicenvironment.scot

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