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St Andrews Castle

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St Andrews Castle is on the Scores, a short walk from St Andrews Town centre.

The Castle can be visited all year with an entrance fee. There is a Museum and Shop at the Castle. Postcode: KY16 9AR

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The image top is looking down North Castle Street towards St Andrews Castle.

1180s - the earliest parts of St Andrews Castle were built to secure the area and protect the wealthy Bishops from St Andrews Cathedral close by.

1296 - 1300s - during the Wars of Scottish Independence, the Castle changed hands many times between the Scots and English.

1303 - forces of the mighty English King Edward I took control of the Castle. Edward I is the brutal King in the film Braveheart.

1314 - the Scottish victory for King Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Bannockburn led to the Castle being taken by the Scots and repaired.

1330s - the English captured the Castle from the forces of David II, son of Robert the Bruce, during the Second War of Scottish Independence.

1336 - forces of David II led by Andrew Moray re-captured the Castle after a Siege lasting three weeks.

1337 - the Scots destroyed the Castle so it could not be used by the English again.

1400 - the Castle was re-built for Walter Trail, Bishop of St Andrews Cathedral.

1401 - Bishop Trail died in the Castle.

1410 - James I of Scotland stayed at the Castle while being educated by Bishop Henry Wardlaw, founder of St Andrews University, oldest University in Scotland.

1445 - James III of Scotland was born at St Andrews Castle. James III was an unpopular King killed at the Battle of Sauchieburn by Stirling, by the forces of his son who became James IV.

1400s - a number of Prominent People of the time were imprisoned by the Bishops in the Castle dungeon.

1500s early - the Reformation reached Scotland with many people converting from Catholic to Protestant.

1546 - Archbishop of St Andrews, David Beaton, imprisoned the Protestant preacher George Wishart in the Castle’s Tower. Wishart was Burnt at the Stake outside the Castle on March 1st. Brick lettering outside the Castle marks where he died.

1546 May - Wisharts friends gained entry to the Castle and Murdered Cardinal Beaton. They then set up the first Protestant Congregation in Scotland.

Catholics then tried unsuccessfully to Mine through Solid Rock to get into the Castle. This Mine can be viewed today.

1547 - the Protestant reformer John Knox entered the Castle During an Armistice to serve as the Castles Preacher.

A French Fleet was brought in to help take the Castle back from the Protestants with a six hour Bombardment. Many Protestants Prisoners were taken to France.

The Castle was then re-built for Archbishop John Hamilton.

1560 - the Reformation in Scotland made Catholic Worship in Scotland illegal, leading to St Andrews Cathedral being abandoned with some of its stone taken for buildings around the Town.

1689 - the Office of the Bishop was Abolished by William of Orange, leading to St Andrews Castle falling into Ruin.

1600s late - much of the Stonework from the Castle was used to repair St Andrews Pier.

Today - the Castle is a ruin maintained by Historic Environment Scotland as a Tourist Attraction. There is a Visitor Centre Museum, Gift Shop, Dungeon, Towers, and two underground Mines to Explore.

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St Andrews Castle Photos