St Andrews Castle Chapel

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 51300 16900, map


St Andrews Castle
The Scores
St Andrews


St Andrews Castle stands on cliffs that overlook the coast, making it a naturally defended site from the east and north. The castle was first recorded in 1200 but a defensive structure may well have existed here before then. The castle was attacked, demolished and rebuilt a number of times during its history before it was largely abandoned in the 1650s. Coastal erosion of the cliffs have led to large parts of the castle's buildings and outer walls crumbling in to the sea at various times. St Andrews Castle had strong ecclesiastical connections as it was the residence of the bishops and (later) archbishops of St Andrews. There was a chapel range in the castle, a little east of the main entrance tower. The castle and grounds are in the care of Historic Scotland and is open to visitors.

J Dowling 2017


The chapel was built in stone as part of the castle in the south east corner between the east wall of the foretower and a round tower,  and faced east- west.   The chapel is no longer standing.

Description (exterior)

The chapel range consisted of two vaulted ground floor rooms, above which was a passage that allowed private access by the bishops. The vaulted rooms largely survive but only parts of the upper storey remains today and the entire south wall of the castle here no longer exists above foundation level. An engraving of 1718 depicts first floor chapel windows with stone tracery which have not survived. Column bases show that there was an open cloister walk or loggia on the north side of the chapel.

J Dowling 2017

Description (interior)

People / Organisations:

Pre-reformation Church of ScotlandDenomination1560


  • Chapel: Build/construction (1500se uncertified)

Archive References:

Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 40599
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 40599St. Andrews Castle
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 34314
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 34314St. Andrews Castle.
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 10687

Bibliographic References:

Buildings of Scotland: FifeGifford, J1988Page: 370-371.