Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

St Andrews Cathedral and Priory and adjacent ecclesiastical remains

A Scheduled Monument in St Andrews, Fife

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 56.3386 / 56°20'18"N

Longitude: -2.7872 / 2°47'13"W

OS Eastings: 351432

OS Northings: 716523

OS Grid: NO514165

Mapcode National: GBR 2R.4PR7

Mapcode Global: WH7S0.5Y15

Entry Name: St Andrews Cathedral and Priory and adjacent ecclesiastical remains

Scheduled Date: 12 February 1999

Last Amended: 28 November 1999

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM13322

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Ecclesiastical: cathedral

Location: St Andrews and St Leonards

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: St Andrews

Traditional County: Fife


The monument comprises the precinct of the cathedral and priory of St Andrews and an area to the NE which includes the ruins of the church of St Mary of the Rock, Kirkheugh. The monument includes the ruins of the cathedral church, the monastic buildings to its S, St Rule's Tower, the remnant of the wall relating to the priory's guest house, the precinct walls, the Pends Yett and other gateways through the precinct walls, and the entire area within the surviving precinct walls within which related remains are expected to survive below ground. Carved stones indicate ecclesiastical use of the site from the 9th century onwards, but the earliest architectural remains are the 12th-century work at St Rule's Church (the predecessor of the cathedral) and the cathedral itself. The latter, and the remains of the adjacent priory built for the Augustinian Canons who served the cathedral, also embody major work of the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries, while the precinct wall, which is the most complete example of its kind, dates chiefly from two building campaigns of the late 14th and 16th centuries. Within the precinct wall, in the area to the SE of the modern roadway known as The Pends the remains of many of the priory's ancillary buildings are expected to survive, including the guest house, mill and teind barn. The monument lies between 10m and 20m above sea level, in a prominent coastal cliff-top location at the E end of the historic burgh of St Andrews. The monument was last scheduled in 1999, but the documentation did not meet modern standards: the present rescheduling rectifies this.

The scheduled area is irregular on plan to include the remains described above and an area around them within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling includes all the precinct walls and towers, meaning the circuit of walls beginning N of the cathedral's E end and extending clockwise around the precinct to terminate on Abbey Street. The scheduling includes parts of the precinct walls that have been rebuilt since the medieval period and also the spur that extends N from Abbey Walk across the grounds of St Leonard's School to St Leonard's House. The scheduling also includes the walls W and S of St Rule's Church that define the extent of the cathedral graveyard. The above-ground elements of all other boundary walls are specifically excluded from the scheduling. The scheduling includes the reconstructed claustral buildings of the priory, but excludes all other buildings erected after 1840. The scheduling excludes the above-ground elements of all structures, fixtures and street furniture built after 1950, and the above-ground elements of the war memorial and of all fences, gates and sundials. The scheduling specifically excludes the collections and all modern fixtures and fittings within the Priory Museum and Visitor Centre. The scheduling specifically excludes all burial plots and memorial stones in the Eastern Cemetery, the top 50cm of the road surface of The Pends, and the top 30cm of all other paved areas and paths.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as one of the earliest Christian foundations in Scotland, the site of the main administrative centre of the Scottish church from at least the 10th century to the Reformation, and because of the great scale and outstandingly high quality of its buildings. The remains of St Rule's Church and St Andrews Cathedral are exceptional architectural monuments that can inform understanding of the development of Romanesque and Gothic architecture in Scotland. The precinct walls also represent a unique and exceptional survival. In addition, buried archaeological remains have the potential to transform knowledge and understanding of the layout, development and economy of the priory and its precinct. As a point of historic interest, the cathedral is arguably the first non-royal structure in Scotland to have been provided with formal state guardianship, long before the Ancient Monuments Act of 1882. Our understanding of the architecture, character, layout and economy of Scotland's medieval monasteries and cathedrals would be diminished if this monument was to be lost or damaged.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records St Andrews Cathedral as NO51NW 2. RCAHMS also holds numerous other records of archaeological and historical sites in the vicinity.

In 2013, parts of the monument were properties in the care of Scottish Ministers (St Andrews Cathedral and St Mary's Church, Kirkheugh).


Anderson R., 1860, Plan of the remains of the ancient chapel of Kirkheugh, St Andrews, with a descriptive note. Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1860'61, part 1, 99 74'84.

Fawcett R., 1993, St Andrews Cathedral.

MacGibbon D. and Ross T., 1894, The Ecclesiastical Architecture of Scotland, vol. 2, 5'29.
Historic Environment Scotland Properties
St. Andrews Cathedral
Find out more
Related Designations

Designation TypeListed Building (A)StatusRemoved

Designation TypeListed Building (A)StatusRemoved

Designation TypeListed Building (A)StatusRemoved

Designation TypeListed Building (A)StatusRemoved

Designation TypeListed Building (A)StatusRemoved

Designation TypeListed Building (A)StatusRemoved

St Mary's Church, Kirkheugh, St Andrews
Find out more
Related Designations

Designation TypeListed Building (B)StatusRemoved

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.