St Andrews Cathedral, Nethergate, Dundee

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 40020 29910, map


150 Nethergate


The Cathedral sits at what was the western edge of the town's almhouse that survived until the sixteenth century. It is detached with a row of tenements to its east and an Arts Centre to its west. It acts as a termination for South Tay St. The south of the building is on sloping ground and has cleared land around it. K. Nichols 11/08.


Rev. John McPherson DD. was responsible for commissioning a new church for a congregation that originated in the Seagate. Designed by Dundee-born George Mathewson, the building of St. Andrews commenced 1 June 1835 with the official opening 7 August 1836. The oldest Catholic church in Dundee is in the Gothic style, 108 feet long and 55 feet wide. The 1000 seat space contains an arcaded interior and outstanding 19th and 20th century stained glass. As with other churches the school rooms were in the basement. On 4 February 1923 a World War I memorial was unveiled in the sanctuary and on that same day the church was dedicated as a cathedral. 1987 renovations included a new marble altar. On 30 November that year Bishop Vincent Logan officiated at the dedication service to St. Andrew. When originally constructed a railed boundary had central gateposts in line with the main doorway.

The main, north, gable features four tall, narrow and intricate pinnacles. The two flanking bays have narrow, tall round-arched windows with simple flowing tracery. The central bay contains a large, three-light round-arched window above the pointed-arch doorway. Polished stone blocks are used on the gabled front. An unusual feature is the pair of statue recesses that flank each side of the doorway. A twentieth century addition is a disabled access ramp and handrail that runs east-west across the church.

In contrast to the elaborate front the sides and back to the cathedral offer bare coursed stone. The south elevation is a combination of church apse and a later addition of a domestic tenement.

J. Dowling and K. Nichols


  • Cathedral: Build/construction (1836)
    People: George Mathewson
  • Cathedral: Build/construction (1836)
    People: George Mathewson
  • Cathedral: Addition (1920 to 1921)
    People: C.g.menart
  • Cathedral: Build/construction (1921)
    Feature: Apse.
    People: C.j.menart
  • Cathedral: Addition (1924)

Bibliographic References:

Medieval Dundee; a town and its peopleTorrie, EP1990