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Publication Account

Date 1981

Event ID 1017991

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Publication Account


The Cathedral church and priory of St. Andrews is a successor to the adjacent church of St. Regulus. Bishop Robert's successor founded the cathedral church in 1160 x 1161. Although the choir was completed by 1238, the church itself was not consecrated until 1318. Before its consecration, storm damage ruined the west front and it was subsequently rebuilt by Bishop Wishart (1273 x 1279). This reconstruction reduced the overall length of the nave by thirty four feet (10.36m) (RCAM, 1933, 231). Fire caused havoc in the choir and transepts in the later fourteenth century, while storms badly lashed the building in the early fifteenth century. After the Reformation, the cathedral was allowed to decay, and even as late as the 1770s, as Dr. Johnson savagely observed, 'every man carried away the stones who fancied that he wanted them' (Baynes and Campbell, 1887, 144).

The remains of the church are very incomplete. Although the east gable is nearly entire, less than half the west gable is complete. Of the choir, the north wall has been reduced to its foundations although some remains of the south wall are above ground. Little remains of the north side of the nave wall, although the South wall is nearly entire. Excavation has uncovered the missing parts which are marked out clearly in the turf (RCAM, 1933, 231).

Information from ‘Historic St Andrews: The Archaeological Implications of Development’ (1981).

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