Historic Scotland
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Opening times

1 April to 30 September:
Monday to Sunday, 9.30am to 5.30pm

1 October to 31 March:
Monday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm (or earlier in bad weather)

Facilities

 

Overview

Explore a castle caught in the Protestant Reformation struggle for hearts and minds. St Andrews Castle was a bishop’s palace, a fortress and a state prison during its 450-year history.

Protestant preacher George Wishart may have been imprisoned in the castle’s bottle dungeon. Cardinal Beaton’s murdered body was certainly kept in the dank and airless hole. The assassination sparked the brutal siege of 1546–47, when opposing sides dug the remarkable mine and countermine into the rock close to the castle battlements.

What to see and do

  • Descend into the castle’s unique underground mine and countermine to get a sense of medieval siege warfare
  • Peer into the bottle dungeon – one of medieval Britain’s most infamous castle prisons
  • Marvel at the Hamilton Façade, an impressive frontage that reflects the wealth and taste of its builder
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