Street, St Andrews, KY16 9AG
Andrews has a special place in Scottish History and legend.
It takes its name from the Saint whose relics, legend tells,
were brought to this place. The town played a leading role in
Scotland's affairs in the middle ages and it's university -
Scotland's First - is world famous.
The beaches are unsurpassed in Scotland, The West Sands of St
Andrews are 2 miles long, European Blue flag Award winning,
and the best place to take a dip in the North Sea, the beach
was made famous in the film Chariots of Fire.
Religious St Andrew's
St Andrew's grew from a religious settlement on the headland
of Kilrymont. Legend says that St Rule, a Greek Monk, brought
relics of St Andrew there. Celtic Monks built the Church of
St Mary on the Rock, whose remains stand near the harbour. Many
Pilgrims visited the shrine of St Andrew, who became Scotland's
patron saint. His Saltire cross has been adopted as the nations
St Rules tower is all that remains of the first church of the
Augustinian priory in St Andrews - and provides panoramic views
if you climb to the top. When the Cathedral was constructed
in the 12th and 13th Centuries, it was the largest building
in Scotland and for years was the centre of the country's religious
The Bishops built the Castle for comfort and protection. It
was palace, fortress and prison, but suffered from 400 years
of wars and sieges. You can see it's infamous bottle dungeon
and explore the medieval mine and countermine, which were dug
by attackers and defenders.
The Castle Visitor Centre has a fascinating exhibition about
the people who played a leading role in both church and state
in the Middle Ages. In South Street you'll find the ruins of
Blackfriars Chapel, once part of a Dominican friary. From here,
the friars went about the town caring for the community. The
town's old kirk, Holy Trinity, is further along the street.
From its pulpit, in 1559, the Calvinist reformer John Knox incited
his congregation to ransack the Cathedral and other religious
Willie Knox, one of the proprietors of The Inn on North Street
refuses to comment on this, or his relationship to the most
infamous Knox of this parish.
A Place of Learning
St Andrews University is the Oldest in Scotland and was founded
in 1411 by Scottish Academics who had studied abroad. You can
visit the Quads of the two colleges St Salvator's in North Street
and St Mary's, in South Street. St Leonard's later united with
St Salvators but you can reach it's chapel from the Pends. Many
of the original University buildings have been replaced and
many more added, but a thorn tree planted by Mary Queen of Scots
in St Mary's quad still survives.
The University has many claims to fame - a session of the Scottish
Parliament met in St Mary's, the first woman to enrol as a student
in Britain (1862) and it had the first Student's Union.
James Gregory, a professor of Maths, designed an early form
of telescope in 1668. You can find out about the University
and it's many stories at the University of St Andrews Museum.
Here you can also find some of it's priceless treasures.
St Andrews became a royal Burgh in 1620, but had been a market
town for centuries. The town Traded widely, principally by ship
with the Low Countries. In it's medieval heyday, 300 vessels
would tie up at the harbour. Many of the Traders would pass
through the Westport, this is the only fortified gateway still
to exist in St Andrews and was re-built in 1589.
So much of early St Andrews survives but you have to explore
the wynds and closes to find a lot of it. Loudens Close is one
of the the best examples of an entrance shared by several houses;
each had a long "rig" at the back for growing vegetables
and grazing a cow. Cow's were once milked in the shed that became
the Byre Theatre in 1933 and has now been transformed into a
state of the art theatre complex which has just opened, we at
the Inn on North Street have close ties with the theatre and
will be happy to book you tickets or forward you programmes
of the forthcoming events.
2004, The Inn on North Street, All rights reserved