1902 Encyclopedia > St Andrews, Scotland

St Andrews

ST ANDREWS, a city, royal burgh, university town, and seaport of Scotland, in the county of Fife, is situated on a bay of the German Ocean and on a branch of the North British Railway, 9 miles east of Cupar and 11 south-south-east of Dundee. It occupies a platform of sandstone rock about 50 feet in height, running east and west and presenting to the sea a precipitous wall, which has been much encroached on by its action within recent years. The principal streets (North Street, Market Street, and South Street) diverge from the cathedral and run east and west, and Queen Street runs south from the centre of South Street. Many new houses and villas have been recently erected towards the south, north, and west. The prosperity of the city depends primarily on its educational institutions, especially the university. The golf links, which are considered the best in Scotland, and sea-bathing attract many residents and visitors. In the 16th century St Andrews was one of the most important ports north of the Forth, and is said to have numbered 14,000 inha-bitants ; but it fell into decay after the Civil War, and, although it has much increased in the present century, its trade has not revived to any extent. The harbour, protected by a pier 630 feet in length, affords entrance to vessels of 100 tons burden. The principal imports are wood and coals and the principal exports agricultural pro-duce. The herring and deep-sea fishing is carried on by about 170 fishermen. The evidences of antiquity in the dwelling-houses are comparatively few. The city was never surrounded by walls, but had several gates, of which that called the West Port still remains. The most pro-minent ruins are those of the cathedral and the castle (see below). Among the modern public buildings are the town-hall (1858) in the Scottish baronial style, the golf club-house, the Gibson and fever hospitals, and the recreation hall (1884). The population of St Andrews in 1801 was only 3263, but by 1881 it had nearly doubled, being 6406. The parliamentary burgh in 1881 numbered 6458.

The cathedral originated partly in the priory of Canons Regular founded to the south-east of the town by Bishop Robert (1122-1159). Martine, who wrote in the end of the 17th century, states that in his time some of the buildings were entire and that considerable remains of others existed, but nearly all traces have now disappeared, with the exception of portions of the abbey wall and the archways, now known as the "Pends," forming the main entrance from the city. The wall is about three-quarters of a mile long and bears turrets at intervals. The cathedral was founded by Bishop Arnold (1159-1162), to supply more ample accommodation for the canons and for the celebration of the worship of the see than was afforded by the church of St Regulus. Of this older building in the Roman-esque style, probably dating from the 10th century, there remain the square tower, 108 feet in height, and the choir, of very diminu-tive proportions. On a plan of the town c. 1530 a chancel appears beyond, and on seals affixed to the city and college charters there are representations of other buildings attached. The cathedral which succeeded the church of St Regulus is represented in full outline in the plan of the town of 1530. It was constructed in the form of a Latin cross, the total length of the building inside the walls being 355 feet, the length of the nave 200, of the choir and lateral aisles 62, and of the lady chapel at the eastern extremity 50. The width at the transepts was 166 feet and of the nave and choir 62. According to Fordun the building was founded in 1159 ; but before it was finished the see witnessed the succession of eleven bishops, the consecration taking place in the time of Bishop Lamberton (1297-1328) in 1318, when the ceremony was witnessed by Robert the Bruce. When entire it had, besides a central tower, six turrets, of which two at the eastern and one of the two at the western ex-tremity rising to a height of 100 feet still remain. The building was partly destroyed by fire in 1378, and the restoration and further embellishment were completed in 1440. It was stripped of its altars and images in 1559 by the magistrates and inhabitants of the city. It is believed that about the end of the 16th century the central tower gave way, carrying with it the north wall. Since then large portions of the ruins have been taken away for building purposes, and nothing was done to preserve them till 1826. The principal portions now remaining, partly Norman and partly Early English, are the eastern and western gables, the greater part of the southern wall of the nave, and the western wall of the south transept.

Closely connected with the fortunes of the cathedral are those of the castle, the picturesque ruins of which are situated about 250 yards north-west of the cathedral, on a rocky promontory now much worn away by the sea. It is supposed to have been erected by Bishop Roger about the beginning of the 13th century as an episcopal residence, and was strongly fortified. It was frequently taken by the English, and after it had been captured by the Scot-tish regent in 1336-37 was destroyed lest it should fall into their hands. Towards the close of the century it was rebuilt by Bishop Trail in the form of a massive fortification with a moat on the south and west sides. James I. spent some of his early years within it under the care of Bishop Wardlaw, and it is supposed to have been the birthplace of James III. From a window in the castle Cardinal David Beaton witnessed the burning of Wishart in front of the gate, and shortly afterwards he was murdered within it in his bedroom by a party of Reformers. The castle was taken from the conspirators by the French, among the prisoners captured being John Knox. Some years afterwards it was repaired by Archbishop Hamilton, but in a less massive and substantial form. It had in 1656 fallen into such disrepair that the town council ordered its "sleatts and timmer, redd and lumps" to be devoted to the repair of the pier at the harbour. The principal remains are a por-tion of the south wall enclosing a square tower, the bottle dungeon below the north-west tower, the kitchen tower, and a curious sub-terranean passage.

The town church, formerly the church of the Holy Trinity, was originally founded in 1112 by Bishop Tnrgot. The early building was a beautiful Norman structure, but at the close of the 18 th century the whole, with the exception of little else than the square tower and spire, was re-erected in a plain and ungainly style. Within the church Knox preached the sermon which led to the stripping of the cathedral and the destruction of the monastic buildings. It contains an elaborate monument to Archbishop Sharp. Near the south-west of the town is the ruined northern transept of the chapel of the Dominican monastery founded by Bishop Wishart in 1274 ; but all traces of the Observantine mon-astery founded about 1450 by Bishop Kennedy have disappeared, except the well The church of St Mary on the rock erected by the Culdees is supposed to have stood on the Lady's Craig now covered by the sea ; and the foundations of another, also dedicated to the Virgin, to the west of the harbour were discovered in 1860, giving the full outline of the ground-plan of the building.

The university was possibly a development of the "schools" which were in existence as early as the beginning of the 12th century, and were endowed by certain "rents and kune" payable to them from lands in the neighbourhood. Its immediate origin was due to a society formed in 1410 by Lawrence of Lindores, abbot of Scone, Richard Cornwall, archdeacon of Lothian, "William Stephen, afterwards archbishop of Dunblane, and a few others, for the instruction of all who chose to attend their lectures. A charter was granted in 1411 by Bishop Wardlaw, who attracted the most learned men in Scotland as professors, and bulls were obtained from the pope in 1413 confirming the charter and constituting it a studium generate or university. The lectures were delivered in various parts of the town until 1430, when a building called the "pedagogy" to the Faculty of Arts was granted by the founder of the university. St Salvator's College was founded and richly endowed by Bishop Kennedy in 1456; twelve years later it was granted the power 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 the university received a further addition by the foundation of St Leonard's College by Prior John Hepburn and Archbishop Alexander Stuart on the site of buildings which at one time were used as a hospital for pilgrims. In the same year Archbishop Stuart nominally changed the original " pedagogy " 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. By a bull obtained from Paul III. it was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Assumption. The outline of the ancient structure is preserved, but the general character of the buildings has been much altered by various restorations. They form two sides of a quadrangle, the library and principal's residence being on the north and the lecture-rooms and old dining-hall on the west. The university library, which now includes the older college libraries, was founded about the middle of the 17th century, rebuilt in 1764, and improved in 1829. The lower hall in the older part of the building has been used 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 to theology ; and in 1747 the colleges of St Salvator and St Leonard were formed into the United College. The buildings of St Leonard's are now occupied as a high class school for girls. The college chapel is in ruins. The United College occupies the site of St Salvator's Col-lege, but the old buildings have been removed, with the exception of the college chapel, now used as the university chapel and the parish church of St Leonard's, a fine Gothic structure containing an elaborate tomb of Bishop Kennedy ; the entrance gateway with the square clock tower rising to a height of 152 feet; and the janitor's house, with some class-rooms above. The modern build-ing, in the Elizabethan style, forming two sides of a quadrangle, was erected between the years 1827 and 1847. The Madras College was founded and endowed by Dr Andrew Bell. It is attended by about 700 pupils. There are also several large boarding and day schools.

St Andrews (see SCOTLAND) is said to have been made a bishopric in the 9th century, and when in 908 the Pictish and Scottish Churches were united the primacy was transferred to it from Dun-keld, its bishops being henceforth known as bishops of Alban. Turgot, who was appointed in 1109, was the first bishop who really filled the see. It became an archbishopric during the primacy of Patrick Graham (1466-78). This ceased in 1688. It was created a royal burgh by David I. in 1124. The St Andrews district of burghs returns one member to the House of Commons.

Martine, History and Antiquities of St Rule's Chapel, St Andrews, 1787; Grierson, Delineations of St Andrews, 1807, 3d ed. 1838; Reliquim Divi Andrew, 1797; Liber Cartarum Sancti Andrea; Bannatyne Club, 1841; Skene, "Ecclesiastical Settlements in Scotland," in Proc, Soc. Antiq. Scot., 1862-63; Histories of St Andrews by Lyon (1843) and Rogers (1849) ; Skene, Celtic Scotland. (T. F. H.)

The above article was written by: T. E. Henderson.

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