This castle was the official residence of the bishop throughout the Middle Ages. The building of the castle was started in 1160 by Bishop Arnold. The castle is made out of stone; this is because it is strong and lasts “forever”. St Andrews Castle is a square shape, which suggests it’s an older castle, since more recent castles were built with a rounded design so attackers from all directions could be seen. Unlike today, there was no heavy machinery to build the castle; hard labour was used. Although the stone made the castle strong, it did not make it indestructible. The castle got badly damaged in the Wars of Independence with England as well as due to religious tension between the Protestants and Catholics . This religious tension really shaped the castle’s purpose as greater defences were built to protect the community who lived there. This included building gun towers, underground prisons and mines. A plaque about some of the more gruelling history of the castle is shown in the photos below.
Due to the outlaw of Catholicism in 1560, the castle failed to have a purpose, became abandoned and descended into ruins. Now the castle is owned by Historic Environment Scotland. You can still visit the castle and be immersed in a guided walking tour. Visiting times for this are from 10am – 4pm daily however times may vary depending on the season.