St. Nicholas' Hospital (site of)

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 51900 15800, map


St. Mary Street
St Andrews
KY16 8LH

Also known as:

  • St. Nicholas' Farm


St. Nicholas's hospital no longer exists as a building above ground level.  Its remains and associated burial ground suggest that it was a twelfth century leper hospital.    The date of foundation is unknown, but a charter of 1178 shows that it was functioning as a leper hospital by then.   The site of a chapel was not located, although it would appear to have been near the burial ground under St Nicholas steadings.   In 1529 St Nicholas hospital was united with the Dominican House in St Andrews, and it is mentioned again in a document of 1583, but seems to have fallen out of use by the 17th century.   A plaque marks the location of a wall and tower.    The site is in agricultural land and is regularly ploughed.    Excavations carried out in 1986-7 suggested that the complex was a large area with a small number of buildings enclosed by a stone boundary wall.    The cemetery seems to have been under the eastern steading building.   When works were being carried out here, perhaps in the 1950s (information from the retired farmer during the steading conversion c1980 -'about 2 ago') many bones were found. They were said to have been reburied under the floor. However at the time of the conversion no archaeological remains were found.

People / Organisations:

Saint NicholasDedicatee11
Pre-reformation Church of ScotlandDenomination11-C1560


  • Hospital: Founded (1100)
    St. Nicholas\' Hospital was founded at the end of the twelfth century.
  • Hospital: Custodial Transfer (1500)
    The endowments of the hospital were given to Blackfriar\'s Chapel (site no: 4665).
  • Hospital: Excavation (1986 to 1987)

Archive References:

Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 34312
Scran - Online databaseReference: 000-000-109-008-CImage and research: Edwina Proudfoot.
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 8569

Bibliographic References:

Sketches of Medieval St AndrewsHenry, D1912