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St. Andrews Castle

St. Andrews Castle Facts

St Andrews Castle, located in the Royal Burgh of St. Andrews is less well known than the Cathedral, but it is every bit as interesting.

From the visitor centre of St Andrews Castle one can enter either by a lesser gateway, or else over the bridge and through the Renaissance gateway of 1555-58.

In vaults to either side are the false starts to a counter mine of 1546-47, which is perhaps the most notable feature of the ruins. It is possible to see in the stonework where the outer wall was strengthened in 1539-71.

The north east tower has two vaults on the ground floor, the base of a bread oven and a water gate. The sea tower contains a bottle dungeon 24ft deep, located in a vault. The gate tower has traces of an older gateway (which had a drawbridge) of Bishop Water Traill, 1385-1401. The east range was mostly destroyed by sea erosion, and collapsed in 1801.

The mine and counter-mine of 1546-1547 is one of the most unique features of the castle. The Earl of Arran’s men were digging a tunnel into the castle and those within dug outwards to try and stop them. They could only go by sounds passing through the rocks, and thus made a few false starts. Nevertheless the two tunnels did meet. Blocked up for many years, they were only rediscovered in 1879 and today visitors can make their way along the passages.

A stronghold of the bishops of St Andrews Cathedral, the castle passed to the Crown in 1587. By the late 17th century it was in ruins, and the stone was used to rebuild the harbour.

St. Andrews Castle Map&Location

St. Andrews Castle Address: The Scores, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9AR, United Kingdom. Use this map to get directions:

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St. Andrews Castle Photos

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St Andrews Castle
St Andrews Castle courtyard
St Andrews Castle East Tower
St Andrews Castle ruins
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