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St Andrews ( ) is a town and former royal burgh on the east coast of Fifemarker in Scotland. The town is named after Saint Andrew the Apostle. St Andrews has a population of 16,596 making this the fifth largest settlement in Fife.

There has been an important church in St Andrews since at least the 8th century, and a bishopric since at least the 11th century. The settlement grew to the west of St Andrews cathedralmarker with the southern side of the Scores to the north and the Kinness burn to the south. The burgh soon became the ecclesiastical capital of Scotland, a position which was held until the Scottish Reformation. The famous cathedral, the largest in Scotland, now lies in ruins.

Today, St Andrews is known worldwide as the "home of golf". This is in part because the Royal and Ancient Golf Clubmarker, founded in 1754, exercises legislative authority over the game worldwide (except in the United States and Mexico), and also because the famous linksmarker (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 town is also home to the University of St Andrewsmarker, the third oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of the UK's most prestigious. The University is an integral part of the burgh, and during term time students make up approximately one third of the town's population.

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.


The first inhabitants who settled on the estuary fringes of the river Taymarker and Eden during the mesolithic (middle stone age) coming from the plains in Northern Europe between 10,000 to 5,000BC. This was followed by the nomadic people who settled around the modern town around 4,500BC as farmers cleaning the area of woodland and building monuments. The name of the settlement was called Cennrigmonaid (Old Irish for "head of the King's monad") for the memory of Túathalán, abbot of "Cennrígmonaid" around 746AD. In 906AD, the town became the seat of the bishop of Alba, with the boundaries being extended to include land between the River Forth and River Tweed.

The establishment of present town began around 1140 by Bishop Robert on a L-shapled vil, possibly on the site of the ruined St Andrews Castlemarker. According to a charter of 1170, the new burgh was built to the west of the Cathedral precinct, along Castle Street and possibly as far as what is now known as North Street. This means that the lay-out may have led to the creation of two new streets (North Street and South Street) from the foundations of the new St Andrews Cathedral filling the area inside a two-sided triangle at its apex. The northern boundary of the burgh was the southern side of the scores with the southern by the Kinness Burn and the western by the West Port. The burgh of St Andrews was first represented at the great council at Scone Palacemarker in 1357.

Recognised as the ecclesiastical capital of Scotland, the town now had vast economic and political influence within Europe as a compolitian town. In 1559, the town fell into decay after the violent Scottish Reformation and the English Civil War losing the status of ecclesiastical capital of Scotland. Even the St Andrews Universitymarker were in consideration over a re-location to Perthmarker around 1697 and 1698. Under the authorisation of the bishop of St Andrews, the town was made a burgh of barony in 1614. Royal Burgh was then granted as a charter by King James VI in 1620. In the 18th century, the town was still in decline, but despite this the town was becoming known for having links 'well known to golfers'. By the 19th century, the town began to expand beyond the original medieval boundaries with streets of new houses and town villas being built. Today, St Andrews is served by education, golf and the tourist and conference industry.


St Andrews Town Hall

In 1304, the first parliament took place in the town, when King Edward I came to be received by Bishop William de Lamberton as overlordship of Scotland. As many as 130 landowners turned up to witness the event ranging from Sir John of Combo to Sir William Murray of Fort. In the early days of the union of 1707, St Andrews elected to send one member of parliament along with Cuparmarker, Perthmarker, Dundeemarker and Forfarmarker. The first elected parliament was introduced on 17 November 1713 as St Andrews Burgh, which merged with Anstruther, the result of a reform bill in 1832. The act of reformation seats in 1855, would find one MP sitting for St Andrews Burgh (which would include Anstruther Easter, Anstruther Wester, Crail, Cupar, Kilrenny and Pittemweem). 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. This was abolished when a single-tier authority was introduced in 1996 as Fife Council based in Glenrothesmarker. The St Andrews area supports three multi-member wards with eleven councillors sitting on the committee of Fife Council. The former royal burgh of St Andrews also retains its own Community Council. Royal Burgh of St Andrews Community Council

Westminster and Holyrood

St Andrews is within the North East Fife , the Mid Scotland and Fife of the Scottish Parliamentmarker (at Holyrood) and the North East Fife (at Westminster).

The North East Fife Scottish Parliament (or Holyrood) constituency created in 1999 is one of nine within the Mid Scotland and Fife electoral region. Each constituency elects one Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) by the first past the post system of election, and the region elects seven additional members to produce a form of proportional representation. The seat is currently held by Iain Smith for the Liberal Democrats.

The North-East Fife UK (or Westminster) constituency elects a Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commonsmarker of the Parliament of the United Kingdom by the first past the post system. The seat has been held by Sir Menzies Campbell for the Liberal Democrats since the formation of this seat in 1987.


UK Census 2001]]
St Andrews Fife Scotland
Total population 14,209 349,429 5,062,011
Foreign born 11.60% 1.18% 1.10%
Over 75 years old 10.51% 7.46% 7.09%
Unemployed 1.94% 3.97% 4.0%

According to the 2001 census, St Andrews had had a total population of 14,209. The population of St Andrews has since increased to around 16,529 in 2006. The demographic make-up of the population is much in line with the rest of Scotland. The age group from 16 to 29 forms the largest portion of the population (37%). The median age of males and females living in St Andrews was 29 and 34 years respectively, compared to 37 and 39 years for those in the whole of Scotland.

The place of birth of the town's residents was 87.78% United Kingdom (including 61.80% from Scotland), 0.63% Republic of Ireland, 4.18% from other European Union countries, and 7.42% from elsewhere in the world. The economic activity of residents aged 16–74 was 23.94% in full-time employment, 8.52% in part-time employment, 4.73% self-employed, 1.94% unemployed, 31.14% students with jobs, 9.08% students without jobs, 13.24% retired, 2.91% looking after home or family, 2.84% permanently sick or disabled, and 1.67% economically inactive for other reasons.

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 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. Summer temperatures are normally moderate, with daily upper maxima rarely exceeding 20 °C.


West Port

In the centre, St Andrews was once bounded by three 'gaits' - North, South and Church - accompanied by cross wynds which extended to the west of the Cathedral to the respective ports. West Port on South Street is one of two surviving town 'Ports' in Scotland. The towers were influenced by those seen on Netherbow Port in Edinburghmarker. The central archway which displays semi-octagonal 'rownds' and 'battling' is supported by corbelling and neatly moulded passageways. Side arches and relief panels were added to the port, during the reconstruction between 1843 and 1845.
the tower of Holy Trinity
Holy Trinity (also known as the Holy Trinity Parish Church or "town kirk") is the most historic church in St Andrews. The church was initially built on land, close to the south-east gable of the Cathedral, around 1144 by bishop Robert Kennedy. The church was dedicated in 1234 by Bishop David de Bernham and then moved to a new site on the north side of South Street between 1410 and 1412 by bishop Warlock. Towards the end of June 1547, the church was location where John Knox first preached in public. John Knox returned to give an inflammatory sermon on 4 June 1559 which led to the stripping of both the cathedral and ecclesiastical status. Much of the architecture feature of the church was lost in the re-building by Robert Balfour between 1798 and 1800. Later, the church was restored to a (more elaborately decorated) approximation of its medieval appearance between 1907-1909 by MacGregor Chambers. Only the north-western tower and spire with parts of the arcade arches were retained. In South Street stands the elegant late medieval ruin of the north transept of the chapel of the Dominican Friary on the grounds ofMadras College, said to date back to the late 13th century. The only remains of the 15th century Observantine Franciscan Friary which lay in Greyfriars Gardens are the well and a small section of boundary wall which linked to the Marketgait Port.

To the east of the town centre, lie the ruins of the Cathedral of St Andrew. This was at one time Scotland's largest building, originated in the priory of Canons Regular founded by Bishop Robert Kennedy. St Rule's Church, located to the south-east of the medieval cathedral is said to date from around 1120 and 1150, being the predecessor of the cathedral. The tall square tower, part of the church, was built to hold the relics of St Andrew and became known as the first cathedral in the town. After the death of Bishop Robert Kennedy, a new cathedral began in 1160 by Bishop Arnold (his successor) on a site adjacent to St Rule's Church. Work on the cathedral was finally completed and consecrated in 1318 by Bishop Lamberton with Robert The Bruce (1306-29) present at the ceremony. Following the savage attack of the cathedral by the Reformation in 1559, the cathedral was allowed to decay.

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. The most important single piece is the St Andrews Sarcophagus, a masterpiece of 8th or 9th century Pictish sculpture. In 1826, the ownership of the ruins of the cathedral were acquired by the barons of the Exchequer.The picturesque ruins of St Andrews Castlemarker are situated on a cliff-top, maintained by a man-made ditch (similar to Ravenscraig Castlemarker in Kirkcaldymarker) to the north of the town. The castle was first erected around 1200 as the home of the bishops and later archbishops for use as a palace, prison and fortress, bearing the ecclesiastic ties with the town. Since several demolitions and re-built have taken shape, the majority of the castle only now dates back to between 1549 and 1571. The work was done by Archbishop John Hamilton in a renaissance style retaining the use of a palace rather than a fortress.Today, the castle serves as a visitor centre.



Modern St Andrews is home to one secondary school, one private school and three primary schools. Of these, Greyfriars RC Primary School serves the local Roman catholic population.Madras College is the only secondary school in the town. The school which opened to pupils in 1832 was based on a Madras system - founded and endowed by Dr Andrew Bell (1755-1832), a native of the town. Prior to the opening, Bell was interested in the demand for a school which was able to teach both poor and privileged children on one site. The high reputation of the school meant that many children came from within other parts of the United Kingdom to be taught there, often lodging with masters or residents in the town. Nowadays, the school is located on two campuses - Kilyrmont and South Street (incorporating the original 1833 building). Pupils in S1-S3 are served by Kilyrmont and S4-S6 by South Street. Famous pupils of the school have included the singer KT Tunstall; vice-president of the University of Sydney, Gavin Brown; MSP, journalist and broadcaster Ted Brocklebank and the members of the Scottish indie band Dogs die in hot cars. There are plans to build a new Madras College to serve all pupils and bring all facilities into single building.

The private school known as St Leonards School was initially established as the St Andrews School for girls company in 1877. The present name was taken in 1882 when a move to St Leonards House was made. The school is now spread across thirty acres between Penns Road and Kinnesburn. A private school for boys was also set up in 1833 as New Park. The operations of the school merged with the middle and junior sections of St Leonards to become St Leonards-New Park in 2005.

University of St Andrews

The University of St Andrewsmarker, the oldest in Scotland, dates back to 1410. A charter for the university was issued by Bishop Hendry Wardlaw between 1411 and 1412. This was followed by Pope Benedict VIII granting university status to award degrees to students in 1413. The school initially started out as a society for learned men in the fields of canon law, the arts and divinity. The chapel and college of St John the evangelist became the first building to have ties with the university in 1415. An adjacent building known as the pengagoy was opended in 1430 by Bishop Hendry Wardlaw. Both buildings were replaced - the pengagoy in 1538 by St Mary's College and St John's by the university library and public college in 1612. The two original colleges to be associated with the university were St Salvador in 1450 by Bishop James Kennedy and St Leonard in 1512 by archbishop Alexander Stewart and prior James Hepburn. In the 16th century, the majority of leading figures in the Scottish church and state would receive their education in the town. The end of the Scottish Reformation, the university adopted a new educational system. When the act of union was made in 1707, the future of the university was put in doubt as the economic shift drove towards more substantial growth in the universities of Edinburghmarker and Glasgowmarker. During the 18th century, the university suffered "acute depression" as a result and only began to recover from the strong leadership of principals such as Sir David Brewster and Sir John Donaldson. An affiliation began with the Queen's College, Dundeemarker in 1881 to provide a school of medicine. Later, the university would expand between 1886 and 1915.With the separation of Queen's College, Dundee which gained university status in 1967, the boundaries of the university became firmly rooted to the town again.

Sport and recreation

St Andrews is known widely as the "home of golf". According to the earliest surviving document from 1552, the "playing at golf" on the links adjacent to the "water of eden" was granted permission by Archbishop Hamilton. The most famous golf course in the town is the Old Course, purchased by the town council in 1894. The course which dates back to medieval times, is an Open Championship course - which was first staged in 1873 and will return to the town in 2010. Famous winners at St Andrews have included: Old Tom Morris (1861, 1862, 1867 and 1874); Jack Nicklaus (1970 and 1978) and Tiger Woods (2000 and 2005). According to Jack Nicklaus, "if a golfer is going to be remembered, he must win at St Andrews". There are six golf courses in total - Old, New, Jubilee, Eden, Strathtyrum and Balgove -surrounding the western approaches of the town. A seventh golf course was added in 2007 at Kinkell Braes, designed by David McLay Kidd.

Other leisure facilities in the town include a junior football team;rugby club (known as Madras Rugby Club);tennis club; university sports centre and a links golf driving range. The East Sands Leisure Centre, which opened in 1988, sits on the outskirts of the town as the town's swimming pool with gym facilities. The University of St Andrewsmarker have expressed plans to provide a new multi-million pound leisure centre to replace East Sands.

See also



  1. Lamont-Brown St Andrews:city by the northern sea pp.1-2.
  2. Lamont-Brown St Andrews:City by the northern sea p.16.
  3. Lamont-Brown Fife in History and Legend p.71.
  4. Gifford Buildings of Scotland: Fife p.357.
  5. Gifford The Buildings of Scotland: Fife p.359.
  6. Cook Old St Andrews p.3.
  7. Lamont-Brown Fife in History and Legend p.76.
  8. Lamont-Brown St Andrews:City by the northern sea p.19.
  9. Omand The Fife Book p.109.
  10. Lamont-Brown St Andrews:city by the northern sea p.188.
  11. Lamont-Brown St Andrews:city by the northern sea p.190.
  12. Pride Kingdom of Fife pp.124-126.
  13. Walker and Ritchie Fife, Perthshire and Angus p.79.
  14. Lamont-Brown St Andrews:city by the northern sea p.171.
  15. Lamont-Brown St Andrews:city by the northern sea p.173.
  16. Lamont-Brown Fife in History and Legend p.81.
  17. Fife Regional Council Medieval Abbeys and Historic Churches in Fife p.46.
  18. Cook Old St Andrews p.14.
  19. Lamont-Brown Fife in History and Legend pp.76-77.
  20. Fife Regional Council Medieval Abbeys and Historic Churches in Fife p.22.
  21. Walker and Ritchie Fife, Perthshire and Angus pp.130-132.
  22. Lamont-Brown Fife in History and Legend pp.70-72.
  23. Walker and Ritchie Fife, Perthshire and Angus pp.130-131.
  24. Walker and Ritchie Fife, Perthshire and Angus pp.115-116.
  25. Pride Kingdom of Fife p.121.
  26. Lamont-Brown St Andrews:City by the northern sea pp.177-178.
  27. Cook Old St Andrews p.13.
  28. Lamont-Brown St Andrews:city by the northern sea pp.183-185.
  29. Lamont-Brown Fife in History and Legend p.83.
  30. Lamont-Brown St Andrews:city by the northern sea p.149.
  31. Pride Kingdom of Fife p.118.
  32. Lamont-Brown Fife in History and Legend p.224-227.
  33. Cook Old St Andrews p.39.
  34. Lamont-Brown St Andrews:city by the northern sea p.85.


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