St Rule's Tower *
St. Rule's Tower, sometimes referred
to as the Square Tower (108 feet high), affords a wonderful panoramic
view over the town and harbour and to the surrounding countryside.
Access to the tower requires an entrance token which can be obtained
at the cathedral visitor centre. The climb to the top of the
tower is via a rather narrow and steep spiral staircase (151
steps) on which it is difficult to pass those headed in the opposite
direction. Be particularly careful on the descent, as spiral
staircases have very little step room especially near the center.
For those who are careful, and reasonably fit, the view is well
worth the effort.
The tower is part of the church, built
(c 1127) to hold the relics of St.
Andrew. St. Rule,
also know as St. Regulus, is credited with having brought the
relics of St. Andrew to this area. It is thus a fitting place
to begin our tour.Settlements in the area of St. Andrews have
been identified for many years prior to the establishment of
the church of St. Rule. St Rule, a greek monk, is said to have
been told in a vision to take some of the relics of Andrew from
Patras and to sail to the ends of the earth with them for their
safe keeping. Legend has it that around AD 390, St. Rule arrived
in St.Andrews Bay after a storm tossed voyage, and was welcomed
by the Pictish king Angus, who gave them a large tract of land
near where they landed.
The cruciform foundation of St. Mary on the Crag
church is visible in the foreground
Between then, and the foundation of the
church of St. Rule, the smaller church of St. Mary on the Crag
was founded by the Culdees.