St. Andrews The Arms of the Royal Burgh of St.Andrews Community Council (Used by permission )

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St. Salvator's Tower

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Tour: East Sands *  | Castle Street - North Street  | Quad *  | University Chapel  | North Street - by St. Salvator's Tower  | North Street - by Younger Hall  | North Street - Murray Park  | Craigtoun Park - The Dutch Village  | Kinburn Park  | Cathedral  | Old Course - 1st tee and 18th green  | The West Sands 
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St. Salvator's Tower

The view from St. Salvator's Tower is almost as fine as the view from St. Rule's Tower. Regrettably the tower cannot be open to the public as the steep stairs, wooden ladders, and narrow platform at the top preclude this on safety grounds. I am grateful to the University, the Public Relations department, and especially the janitorial staff for granting permission for, and guiding me on, this visit to the tower.


The bells of St. Salvator's Tower. In the foreground is Katherine and in the background is Elizabeth.
The tower was started by Bishop James Kennedy when he founded the college of St. Salvator's in 1450. Just prior to his death in 1460 he installed the main bell "Katherine" named after his niece Kate Kennedy. The (somewhat conical) spire was added around 1530 by Archbishop James Beaton but was detroyed by fire during the seige of the castle in 1546/47. This then permitted the use of the tower as a gun emplacemnet from which to bombard the castle a technique helpful in ending the seige in 1547. The stone spire was added by Archbishop Hamilton in the 1550s.

In 1764 another smaller bell, "Elizabeth" was added. It represents the college of St. Leonards, and is used to strike the hour.


The clock mechanism is wound each week, lifting weights on steel wires which wind around the drums in the lower part of the picture. The drive shafts to three of the clock faces are clearly seen at the top of the mechanism. .
In 1999 the clock faces on the exterior of the tower were replaced. The clock mechanism (pictured) was manufactured in Edinburgh in 1853 by James Ritchie and Son. Indicators on the drive shafts show the rough position of the clock hands but nowadays, when time on the clock needs adjusting, the janitorial staff radio to someone outside to help accurately determine the position of the clock hands

Source: Alumnus Chronicle, 1999

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