Former Catholic Church, St Andrews

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 50500 16100, map


James Street
St Andrews
KY16 8YA

Also known as:

  • St. James' Roman Catholic Church
  • Tin Tabernacle


A timber and metal-framed Roman Catholic Church was built on The Scores in St Andrews in the late 19th century. By 1909 the congregation had out-grown the church and a new church was built nearby. Local businessmen saw the potential of the ‘tin tabernacle’ and it was eventually divided into four pieces and physically moved (walls and roof still intact) nearly a mile, across the Kinnessburn, to a new site on the corner of James Street and Bridge Street. It became first a roller skating rink and then a cinema. Later it was converted into a warehouse for St Andrews Woollen Mill. In 2003 the former church building was sold and demolished to make way for new flats.

Description (exterior)

The church was a 'tin kirk', built in timber with corrugated iron walls and roof. It had metal traceried, pointed-arch windows. There were three triple-arched windows on the southern elevation, and a triple-arched window above the porch at the west end. The east end apse, which held the altar, featured a pointed-arched window with metal traceries. After its re-erection large doors were made in the side walls (on James Street) and part of it was harled. A new roof was added to replace the corrugated iron. This transformed its appearance, especially when a new building was built to the front, along Bridge Street. However, around the back the original structure could still be seen with the green corrugated iron and church windows still in place. In 2003 the building was demolished.

Description (interior)

People / Organisations:

Roman CatholicDenomination1885-1909
Our LadyDedicateeMary, mother of Jesus Patron of north side altar
James Robert Hope-ScottBenefactorlawyer, St Andrews, who gave land to RC church of St James. Donated land to the church


  • Church: Build/construction (1884)
  • Church: Consecration (1885)
  • Church: Build/construction (1909)
    The building was dismantled and moved to another location where it was reconstructed.
  • Church: Destruction/demolition (2003)
    The church was demolished and offices and flats were built on the site of the church.

Archive References:

Scran - Online databaseReference: 000-000-109-038-CEdwina Proudfoot
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 10034

Bibliographic References:

Annual Report and Yearbook 1980St Andrews Preservation Trust
The Catholic Church in St Andrews, 1884-1984Peter King1984
The Good, the Bad and the Holy: Church and Congregation in St AndrewsSt Andrews Museum Exhibition Group2003