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St Andrews
St Andrews
St 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 flag.

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 life.

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 buildings.

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.

The Town
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.
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