Celebrating St Andrews
- Gregor Stewart
15th February 2025
The town of St Andrews in Fife has much to celebrate. Its cathedral was the largest church built in Scotland and the Bishops, and later Archbishops, played an important role in ruling mediaeval Scotland. Scotland’s first university was established in St Andrews, which began teaching religious studies in 1410. The university has been the choice for many famous people and is also responsible for many of the town’s traditions. The town was a favourite of Mary, Queen of Scots, who owned a home in St Andrews. In 1663, astrologer and mathematician James Gregory published a design for the first reflecting telescope in St Andrews, and in 1673 Gregory laid the first Meridian line, which earned St Andrews the title ‘the place where time began’. St Andrews is best known, however, as the home of golf. The game had been played and developed in the town for centuries before the formation of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club in 1754, which is considered the headquarters of golf. The town is also famous for its long, sandy beaches, which attracted film-makers who filmed the opening sequence of ‘Chariots of Fire’ on the West Sands. The Lammas market, the oldest surviving medieval market, is still held in the centre of town, and the annual St Andrews Day celebrations, the Patron Saint of Scotland from whom the town takes its name, are a major attraction. Yet not all of the big-names from St Andrews are human: Hamish McHamish, a large ginger cat, became one of the best-known residents and is remembered by a statue in the town centre.
Celebrating St Andrews chronicles the proud heritage of St Andrews, its important moments and what draws so many to this fascinating town today. Illustrated throughout, this fascinating book offers a marvellous and refreshingly positive insight into St Andrew’s rich heritage, its special events and important moments. Celebrating St Andrews will be a valuable contribution to the history of the town and provide a source of many memories to those who have known it well over the years.