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St Andrews, South Street, Dominican Monastery

Monastery (15th Century)

Site Name St Andrews, South Street, Dominican Monastery

Classification Monastery (15th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Blackfriars Chapel

Canmore ID 94440

Site Number NO51NW 5.01

NGR NO 5075 1654

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2019.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Fife
  • Parish St Andrews And St Leonards
  • Former Region Fife
  • Former District North East Fife
  • Former County Fife

Archaeology Notes

NO51NW 5.01 5075 1654

(NO 50751654) Black Friars' Chap (NR) (Remains of)

Black Friars' Monastery (NR) (AD 1274) (Site of).

OS 25" map (1914)

The house of Black Friars was founded by Bishop Wishart (1272-1279). The construction of the chapel or aisle (the sole remains) was authorised by Archbishop Beaton in 1525. The house was sacked in June 1559. The remaining portion of the church lies within the grounds of Madras College. It measures internally 26ft N-S by 21ft E-W. It is apsidal-ended and has originally had radial buttresses.


No 5077 1655 A watching brief was carried out on new trenches that were being dug for the floodlighting of the Blackfriars chapel and the front of Madras College. Some of the trenches located demolition rubble at c0.50m below modern ground level, possibly representing the demolished remains of the friary church and southern range. The floodlight trenches around the chapel contained no archaeological deposits but natural sand was encountered at 0.52m below modern ground level in two of them.

Sponsor: Fife Enterprise.

D Hall 1995.


Publication Account (1981)

St. Andrews boasted at least two friaries, both apparently founded in the fifteenth century. A Dominican house under a prior had been established in St. Andrews by 1464 (Brooks, .d.,10). The church was largely destroyed by the Reformers in June 1559 and the property was granted to the burgh in 1567 (Cowan, 1976, 120). Little has been left of the friars in Scotland, and in St. Andrews only what has been variously described as the north aisle (RCAM, 1933, xlviii) or north transept of the church of the Dominicans (Cant, 1945, 15) survives.

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


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