The Hallow Hill Long Cist Cemetery

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 49400 15650, map


Trinity Place
St Andrews


The site is located on a low hill which is surrounded by two burns, on the western edge of modern St Andrews.
This site was excavated in 1860 when 20 buials in long cists (stone coffins) were uncovered; a 'short cist' with Roman artefacts, now lost, was also uncovered.
In 1975-1977 over 150 burials, most in long stone cists and dating from the 7th century AD, were excavated The first group was uncovered in the garden of a new house on the Hallow Hill and the others in the park outside. In addition to these burials several additional important features were found, including postholes of a possible chapel located near the western edges of the cemetery, a cobbled road through the cemetery leading towards the former settlement of Kinrimund and two 'short cists'. One of these had been uncovered in 1860, but the other was intact. Both of these anomalous graves held child burials and both included 2ndcentury AD Roman artefacts.
A small, representative group of cists was left open when the site was refilled after the excavation and there is now an interpretation board, which provides some information, at the site.


The Hallow Hill

Construction materials: Stone (sandstone) - The long cists were carefully constructed from sandstone, brought from the shore some three miles away. Several stones had shells attached;


  • Burial ground: Excavation (1860)
    About 20 of the burials were uncovered in an excavation in 1860, including one of the cists with roman artefacts.
  • Burial ground: Excavation (1975 to 1977)
    The excavation in 1975 began when long cists and bones were found in a garden set into the top of the Hallow Hill. More than 20 cists were uncovered, mainly disturbed, during the 19th century diggings.

Archive References:

Scran - Online databaseReference: 000-000-109-062-CImage and researched by: Edwina Proudfoot.
CSA: Inventory of Scottish Church Heritage - HardcopyReference: 10357
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 32900