St Andrews Historical Timelines

St Andrews Historical Timelines | St Andrews walking tours through a timeline of St Andrews history covering the town, golf and Old Course development.

St Andrews Historical Timelines

When you come on one of Richard’s five themed St Andrews walking tours you will hear about how, for its size, it is unrivalled in its extraordinary history and innovation.

St Andrews Walking Tours, Kate Kennedy Parade

St Andrews is one of the gems of Europe and a sought-after destination for many reasons. Known for its stunning scenery, beautiful architecture and laid-back feel, there is an undercurrent of historical timelines that have shaped what we now know to be St Andrews.

The timelines can be defined in many ways. We have a very influential spiritual/religious timeline through the Druids, Celtic Church, Catholic Church and the Protestant movement. There is the timeline of Golf, focusing on its development through St Andrews. There is the timeline of Old Course development that set the standards in global golf course design.

There is also the university’s timeline of progression to becoming the top university in Britain. Formed by the Catholic Church in 1413, St Andrews University is Scotland’s oldest university and the third oldest in the English-speaking world.

St Andrews is not a very big place, but add these together and we have an extraordinary and unique history that arguably, has never been surpassed on these shores.

Sightseeing in St Andrews

St Andrews Walking Tours, St Andrews coastline

On Richard’s St Andrews Walking Tours, you will cover the centre of St Andrews town, the Cathedral, the Palace (Castle), the harbour, the University and the Old Course.

With plenty of opportunities to take breathtaking photos, this is the most comprehensive walking tour of St Andrews.

Thousands of photos are taken here each year, but far from being something relatively new, St Andrews was also one of the early pioneers of photography (1830s). Some of the earliest photos in existence were taken here.

St Andrews Unique historical timelines covering a remarkable history

St Andrews Historical Timeline | St Andrews Walking Tours, cathedral in snow

Richard is also a local historian and his St Andrews History Tours has a crossover of history with his general walking tours but his history tours don’t mention golf.  The focus of these tours is a more in-depth perspective on the remarkable history of St Andrews outwith golf, so are appealing to those not interested in the game.

On Richard’s history tour, and likewise his walking tour, you will learn the key features of historical progression. How St Andrews history spans back to c.500 BC and the arrival of the Celts from Ireland. They then transformed into the Picts. This then became the seat of the Pictish Kings, with Druidry as the main spiritual discipline. In the 6th century, the Celtic Church arrived through the Céilí Dé from Ireland.

Six bones or relics of St Andrew were then brought here in c.736 AD by Bishop Acca of Hexham in England. As a collector of Saint’s relics, the Céilí Dé then became their entrusted keepers. 

The arrival of the Catholic Church through the Augustinians in the 12th century saw a marketing machine that led to a name change from Kilrymont to St Andrews, c.1144. It then became a major centre for the Cult of St Andrew.

Formerly known as Rome II, St Andrews held the greatest seat of Catholic power outside Rome itself.

Who was St Andrew?

St Andrew was the first apostle of Christ and the elder brother of St Peter. The arrival of the bones in St Andrews would see the advent of tourism here, with over 20 million pilgrims arriving mostly from Europe to be blessed by the saint.

In 1559, spearheaded by the Protestant reformer John Knox, the people of St Andrews overthrew the Catholic Church. St Andrews would then lay virtually desolate for the next three centuries.

St Andrews today

St Andrews Walking Tours - Market Street

Through the efforts of Sir Hugh Lyon Playfair and his drive for tourism in the 19th century, St Andrews once more became a bustling town.

Golf now attracts millions of pilgrims, including Kings, astronauts, Hollywood stars, American presidents, sports personalities and rock stars. Being such a small place, St Andrews can be very surreal as you meet everyone either in the streets, cafes, bars, restaurants or by the golf courses.

St Andrews unique historical timelines | Golf Tours in St Andrews

Golf St Andrews Old Course - St Andrews Walking Tours

Proclaimed the Home of Golf in 1834, St Andrews is where golf developed into the sport we know today, and is where the rules of the game are administered.

Richard conducts two golf tours. The first is St Andrews Golf Oriented History Tours. This tour covers the town and the Old Course. It extends to the university and the Cathedral with 124 golfers buried within its precincts. Covering both town and golf history, this tour is suitable for both the golf enthusiast and those who are maybe less enthused about the game but who are looking to find out more about St Andrews and its history.

Richard’s second golf tour is his St Andrews Old Course History Tour. This tour is specifically for the golf enthusiast who can’t get enough of the game. With the prestigious Old Course itself as the backdrop, Richard explores the stages in its evolution to how it became the game we know today. This is an involved exploration of the development of golf and the Old Course as a timeline from 1123 to the present. 

Ghosts of St Andrews

St Andrews Ghost Tours, a St Andrews walking tour

Richard also conducts St Andrews Ghost Tours. These are specifically for those with a genuine interest in the paranormal as a reality. Any looking for stereotypical fictional escapism will be disappointed. They are nonfiction educational tours utilising a wealth of localised testimony as examples to explain global phenomena.

It shouldn’t surprise St Andrews has its ghosts. Following Richard’s extensive research over 6 decades, St Andrews has over 300 ghosts and currently has 208 haunted locations. For its size, this is unrivalled. So, St Andrews is not only the home of golf, it is also the home of ghosts.

Come on a tour and find out why.

St Andrews Tours

5 unique tours | 1hr to 1.45hrs | 6 tours a day | 7 days a week all year

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