Scheduled Monument

St Andrews CastleSM90259

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (

The legal document available for download below constitutes the formal designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The additional details provided on this page are provided for information purposes only and do not form part of the designation. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within this additional information.


Date Added
Secular: castle
Local Authority
St Andrews And St Leonards
NO 51240 16927
351240, 716927


The monument consists of the surviving portions of St Andrews Castle and the areas likely to have been occupied by its outer courtyards.

St Andrews Castle is a multi-period, composite, structure of medieval and Renaissance style, built by the Bishops and Archbishops of St Andrews. It was started c.1200, but the matrix of what is now seen is a pentagonal courtyard castle built by Bishop Walter Traill in the years around 1400, following the destruction of its predecessor in the Wars of Independence. Artillery blockhouses were built to replace the outer angle towers in the early 16th century, and fragments remain at the SW corner.

These were largely destroyed in the siege which followed the murder of Cardinal Beaton in 1546, during which siege a mine and counter-mine were dug beneath the ditch. The last major addition was the rebuilding of the entrance front in the 1550s by Archbishop Hamilton, in an advanced early-Renaissance style. The castle is now extensively ruined, with much of the E range, which included the hall, having fallen over the sea-cliff.

The area to be scheduled is defined by sea-cliffs to the N and E, by the boundary with Castlecliff House to the W, and by the boundary wall along the Scores to the S, and includes the remains of the castle and the areas of its outer courtyards to the W and S. It measures a maximum of 120m WSW-ENE by 115m NW-SE, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it is one of the best-preserved medieval episcopal residences in Scotland, and because of the outstanding quality of its medieval and Renaissance architecture. It also has the best-preserved mine and counter-mine in Britain, and is of considerable importance in the study of the development of siege and artillery warfare.



RCAHMS records the monument as NO 51 NW 3.00.

Historic Environment Scotland Properties

St. Andrews Castle

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About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Scheduling is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for monuments and archaeological sites of national importance as set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments that are found to be of national importance using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Scheduled monument records provide an indication of the national importance of the scheduled monument which has been identified by the description and map. The description and map (see ‘legal documents’ above) showing the scheduled area is the designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary and provided for general information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within the statement of national importance or additional information. These records are not definitive historical or archaeological accounts or a complete description of the monument(s).

The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief. Some information will not have been recorded and the map will not be to current standards. Even if what is described and what is mapped has changed, the monument is still scheduled.

Scheduled monument consent is required to carry out certain work, including repairs, to scheduled monuments. Applications for scheduled monument consent are made to us. We are happy to discuss your proposals with you before you apply and we do not charge for advice or consent. More information about consent and how to apply for it can be found on our website at

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 26/05/2024 23:23