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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 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.
The bells of St. Salvator's Tower. In the foreground
is Katherine and in the background is Elizabeth.
In 1764 another smaller bell, "Elizabeth"
was added. It represents the college of St. Leonards, and is
used to strike the hour.
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
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. .
Source: Alumnus Chronicle, 1999