St Andrews Cathedral
The Pends, Saint Andrews, United Kingdom
www.historic-scotland.gov.uk… - 01334 472563
St Andrews Cathedral Saint Andrews Reviews
Largest cathedral in Scotland during medieval times Oct 01, 2012
St. Andrews Cathedral was the largest in Scotland during medieval times. Spanning almost 400 ft (~100m) in length it remains one of the largest ever to have been built in Scotland, although it is in ruins today. St Andrews was a place of religious importance in medieval times and as its community grew the need arose for a larger, grander cathedral. The original church, dating from the early 12th century, that stood on this site was St. Rules Church, of which only the tower remains now. St. Rule (or St. Regulus), as the legend states, brought some bone remains, the relics of St. Andrew, to an early medieval settlement in this area, where they were enshrined. The legend is an important one, giving its namesake to what became the city of St Andrews, establishing St Andrews as the the patron saint of Scotland and leading to St Andrews becoming the seat of the Catholic Church in Scotland during medieval times. It is no surprise that such a cathedral built here in the 12th century would be on a grand scale. Work began on the cathedral in the mid 12th century, but was not finished until the 13th century. The consecration in 1318 was attended by the King of Scotland, Robert the Bruce himself.
The ruins of the cathedral, and St. Rules Tower is a fairly impressive set of ruins. Although most of the cathedral is gone, the west doorway and the eastern gable still stand, and give one a sense of the grand size this cathedral once was. It must be been quite a sight to pilgrims visiting here in medieval times to be blessed by St. Andrew. The Cathedral Museum is on the grounds with a collection of early Christian carvings and post-Reformation memorials. The sarcophagus of St Andrews can be seen here also as an example of 8th-century Pictish sculpture. It was rediscovered in 1833 during excavations of the Cathedral. The St. Andrews Cathedral and St. Rules Tower is reason itself to pay a visit to the city of St. Andrews. The grounds are immaculately kept too and it makes for a picturesque stroll among the cemetery grave markers on the grounds of the ruins. Well worth a visit!
Part of the A Sense of Scotland (Sep. 21 - Oct. 2, 2012) travel blog
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