FP100: No. 12

St Andrew
St Andrew

Saint Andrew

The statue of St Andrew, who gives his name to the town, currently standin in the Botanic Gardens, has a history which has seen it have several locations - and it could be on the move again.

Originally commissioned in the mid-19th century by the North British Mercantile and Insurance Company for their head office in Edinburgh’s Princes Street, it was made by Scottish sculptor Alexander Handyside Ritchie (1804-1870) who hailed originally from Musselburgh.

He studied for several years in Rome where he undoubtedly saw 17th century Francois Duquesnoy’s sculpture of St Andrew under the cupola of St Peter’s Basilica and his statue is a copy of that Duquesnoy work.

The statue stayed in Edinburgh until the 1960s when the building was demolished and in 1964 it came into the ownership of St Andrews University before finding its most recent home at the Botanic Gardens.

Currently in need of some repair, plans are afoot for repair and to move the statue to a more prominent location in the town, under the aegis of the St Andrews Partnership.