Reassurances on future of St Andrews castle

St Andrews Castle is covered in scaffolding
St Andrews Castle is covered in scaffolding
Have your say

Historic Scotland says extensive scaffolding works do not mean structure is crumbling

A reassurance has been given that although a main wall of St Andrews Castle is covered in scaffolding, the structure is not falling into further ruin.

Anyone walking past the medieval monument at the Scores would be forgiven for thinking that the extensive amount of scaffolding on one side is shoring it up.

However Historic Scotland, which manages many of the the country’s ancient buildings and monuments including the castle and St Andrews Cathedral, said there is no reason to fear for the integrity of the strucutre.

A spokesperson for Historic Scotland said: “Works are currently underway at St Andrews Castle to repair and consolidate the masonry.

“This phase of selective cutting back of hard mortar pointing and replacing it with a compatible lime mortar will help to reduce the weathering of the historic fabric.

“To carry out this important conservation work a specialist-designed buttressed scaffold was necessary, and was built at the Fore Tower and Hamilton Facade.”

The spokesperson went on to explain: “This entirely self-supported scaffold takes no support from the castle walls, resulting in a very low impact on the historic fabric.

“The buttressed section of the scaffold, weighted by water-filled ballast tanks, braces the main work platforms and ensures safe access for our masons and technical staff.

“Works are due to be completed by the end of March and will be topped off by a re-gilding of the weather vane on top of the Fore Tower gable.”

The castle, which is classed as a Scheduled Monument by Historic Scotland, comprises Medieval and Renaissance buildings. The first castle was built by the bishops and archbishops of St Andrews around 1200.

Most of the castle was destroyed in the Wars of Independence but was rebuilt by Bishop Walter Traill in the 1400s.

The Rennaisance style entrance, which is where the scaffolding has been erected, was added to in the 1550s by Archbishop Hamilton.

Most of the castle today now lies in ruin with a large part of the east range having been lost over the sea cliff.

The castle is, however, important not just historically architecturally and in terms of tourism, but also in the study and development of siege and artillery warfare.