St Andrews Fire: Photos from Ray Hess ’13

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Ray Hess ’13, who studied abroad in St Andrews, Scotland, shared five of his favorite photos with The Gazette. Below, he offers insight into the locations’ historical significance.

The rocky shore of the North Sea at low tide
from the top of the overlooking cliff just south of castle
St Andrews (not St. Andrew's!), Scotland
The Elephant house, just off the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland, where J.K. Rowling often sat for hours drinking tea and writing the Harry Potter novels
The ruins of the once great Cathedral of St Andrews, the largest building in Europe at the time of its finished construction in 1318. It was dedicated to St. Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland, and marked a major pilgrimage destination during the middle ages. The square tower to the right of the cathedral spires marks the remnants of the Church of St Regulus, the smaller, older church that the cathedral replaced. The cathedral was ransacked during the Reformation and fell into disuse following that, eventually decaying to its current state. Throughout the post-Reformation period, the cathedral grounds were used as a graveyard.
The rocky shore line of the Castle Sands beach of St Andrews at low tide following a brief rain storm (normal temperamental weather here in Scotland). In the left corner we see the ruins of the St Andrews Castle sitting on top of the cliffs. This castle was built by the Bishops and Archbishops of St Andrews as a place for receiving guests and as a protected residence. It was captured by Protestants during the Reformation and then besieged by the Catholic Scottish Regent, James Hamilton, in 1546. Following the Reformation, the castle slowly fell into ruin, including parts of it that fell into the sea.
Here I am standing on the pier in St Andrews built as part of the harbor to protect the fishing fleet from the harsh storms of the North Sea. The pier was constructed in part with stones from the Cathedral of St Andrews, following the Reformation, when it was abandoned by the Catholic Church.

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