St. Andrews’ Doors

I must be getting nostalgic for the UK. I’ve been going through old photos and the ones I seem to linger on are places back ‘home’. It was only a little over a year ago that we were on the windswept coast of Eastern Scotland. Not far north of Edinburgh lies the university town of St. Andrews. One of the main features of the town is the ruins of its ancient cathedral, the nave towers you can just see to the right of the picture below.

Looking through the photographs, I realised that I had taken a number of them in preparation for a post on doors. I wonder why I never got around to posting them? Well, as we enter lockdown again here in Greece, I am taking the opportunity of time on my hands to finally write this post. But, before we get to the doors, I have to include the rather humorous photo of a street sign (old one embedded in the wall and new above). It was the first thing I spotted when we arrived in the evening and decided it was just light enough for a walk around town. I knew from the scatological humour that we were in a University Town.

Leaving the gutter, let’s move on to higher thoughts. The ruins of the great 12th century Romanesque cathedral are on the seaward side of the town. The great west door leads you into what would once have been a magnificent columned space. You get a framed view through the doorway into the nave and the towers at the altar end.

Once in the nave, you can look back towards the entrance and see the line where columns once stood marked out in the grass. Next to the door is a tower with its winding stairs and numerous doorways opening onto open space.

Along the preserved nave wall separating what was once the cathedral with the cloisters is the west processional door, now blocked. It looks like it has been filled in two separate times: once from a large entranceway and secondly, a smaller door.

In the cloisters, there are beautiful archways looking out into the ruins of the monastic buildings.

The holes in the archway above the door below must be revetment holes that once held decorative reliefs in place.

Just outside this door is a jumble of low walls that once marked rooms of the priory. I suspect that this stairway once lead to a door.

Just outside the Cathedral precincts is Pends Gate which marks the old entrance to the priory.

Have a look at Norm’s blog, Thursday Doors for more stories of fascinating buildings and their doors. 



  1. WOW ! these photo’s are just stunning. The cathedral arches are especially superb.Thank you for sharing your very unusual interest.
    PS I did not realize you live in Greece. I live on Crete. Hope all is well with you during these trying times. Stay safe.


  2. These are stunning photos. I love the one of the filled-in west processional door. The care that they took to fill in an opening is remarkable. Thanks for sharing these photos, and your explanation made me feel like I was on a very nice tour.


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