St Andrews Cathedral Priory – 1318

St Andrews Cathedral was once the largest and most important church in Scotland. In the late fifteenth century the chronicler Walter Bower described St Andrews Cathedral as ‘the lady and mistress of the whole kingdom’.

There has been a religious site in St Andrews since the early Middle Ages. In the 1160s work began on a vast new cathedral, replacing the church now known as St Rule’s. The rebuilt cathedral was eventually consecrated in July 1318 in the presence of King Robert the Bruce.

St Andrews Cathedral served as a major religious centre until 1559, when it was ‘reformed’ by Protestant activists who made a bonfire of its religious images. In the years after the Reformation the cathedral gradually fell into ruins. When Dr Samuel Johnson visited in the 1770s he commented on the ‘poor remains’ of a formerly ‘spacious and majestic building’.

This reconstruction shows the cathedral in about 1318. It was created by researchers at the University of St Andrews. The cathedral site is now managed by Historic Scotland, and a version of the reconstruction can be seen in their visitor centre.

You can access our OpenSim grid to explore our reconstructions of St Andrews Cathedral Priory by following the instruction here.