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St Rule's Tower *

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Tour: East Sands *  | East Sands Leisure Centre - Main Pool  | The Pends  | Queen Mary's House, The Roundel and Pends  | Castle - West side of Courtyard  | Cathedral  | Queen Mary's House - Gardens  | Harbour Bridge  | The New Byre Theatre 
Visit: St. Leonards School | Gatty Marine Laboratory

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 cruciform foundation of St. Mary on the Crag church is visible in the foreground
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.

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.


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