St. Andrews was the focal point of the Scottish Church thrughout the Middle Ages. During that time many buildings were constructed, and monuments erected, and on a scale of magnificence unequalled anywhere else in Scotland. Fortunatley many of them survive today, at least in part. Yorkston Guest House provides an ideal location for you to easily explore the town and its historical past.
Cathedral and St. Rules Tower
The ruins, of what was Scotland’s largest and most magnificent church, still show how impressive St Andrews Cathedral must have been in its prime. The Cathedral was founded in 1160 and finally consecrated in 1318. However the Reformation was to bring about the ruin of this magnificiant Cathedral. It was destroyed following John Knox's sermon in the Holy Trinity Chuch on the 11th June 1559. His fiery sermon so aroused the congregation that they were immediately moved to tear down the rich medieval furnishings associated with 'popish' worship.
Sintuated within the grounds of the Cathedral is St Rule's Tower (known to locals as the Square Tower) is thought to date to around 1127. If you can manage the 100 foot climb to the top you will be rewarded with a magnificiant panaramic view of St. Andrews - don't forget your camera!
St. Andrews Castle and Visitor Centre
The Castle was the chief residence of the bishops from about 1200. However, most of what remains was built around the sixteenth century.
The siege of 1546-7 has left evidence of itself in one of the most interesting pieces of siege engineering to survive anywhere is Europe - the Mine and Countermine. Visitors of the Castle are able to descend into the coutermine and mine. Another must see is the bottle dungeon!
Pends and Harbour
The Pends was the principal entrance to the Cathedral Priory and is thought to date from 1378. Following the path through the pends you will reach the Precinct walls and Harbour. The harbour itself dates back many centuries but the pier is more modern.
St Salvators Church and Tower (University Chapel)
This was founded in 1450 by Bishop Kennedy who is entombed in the church. Scotland's first martyr of the Reformation, Patrick Hamilton who was accused of heresy, was burnt at the stake outside St Salvators in 1528. Local folklore suggests that you will see his face in the stone work at the entrance.
And many more...
As you walk about St. Andrews you will discover many more historical buildings including; the historic westport (the only remaining gateway), Madras College, Blackfriars Chapel and Younger Hall.