St John's College

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 51000 16600, map


South Street
St Andrews


St John's College and Chapel were founded in 1419 by Master Laurence of Lindores as a special type of chantry. The college and chapel were located at the western end of what is now the University of St Andrews' Parliament Hall and St Mary's Library. This is on South Street, not far from the remains of St Andrews Cathedral. St John's also served a meeting place for the university faculties of Theology and Arts; indeed the Feast of St John became the official festival of the Faculty of Arts. By 1538 the college buildings had been demolished and the site was used to build St Mary's College, which includes Parliament Hall and the library.

Although demolished in the 16th century, it is possible a few fragments of St John's College and Chapel survive today. On the outside of Parliament Hall there are several carved stone brackets, which are reputed to have been saved from St John's. In St Mary's Library is a doorway (used as a cleaner's store) which leads to a small vaulted area and a stone wall, which may be part of the original buildings. A small square hole is cut into the stonework, which is likely to be a putlog, used to secure wooden scaffolding during the construction of the building.

J Dowling 2017

Description (exterior)

Description (interior)


  • Collegiate: Founded (1419)
    The college and chapel of St John was founded.
  • Collegiate: Repair (1520-1525)
  • Collegiate: Destruction/demolition (b1538)
    Site of St John\'s College used as a location for St Mary\'s College in 1538.

Archive References:

Map Collections - Online databaseReference: M.S.20996The John Geddy map of St. Andrews
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 80345
Records of St John's College and the Pedagogy in the University of St AndrewsReference: GB 227 UYSJP