St Andrews and its Tartan

Posted by admin 18/06/2020 0 Comment(s)


The restrained beep blue tartan of the Earl of St Andrews has a similar story to that of Royal Stewart: initially a restricted personal tartan for royalty to become a very popular general tartan. In this case, the Earl of St Andrews Tartan has become a district tartan for the area of St Andrews in Fife.


This pattern was devised in 1930 for Prince George, Earl of St Andrews, who was the fourth son of King George V. George’s life was cut by a plane crash during the Second World War, the first royal to be killed on active service since James IV was killed at Flodden in 1513. George seems to have had tumultuous personal life, and his life story is well worth a read.


St Andrews is an ancient burgh at the tip of Fife. Originally called Cennrígmonaid (the King’s moor on the peninsula), later Cell Rígmonaid (the church on the king’s moor), then contracted to Kilrymont. The name changed to St Andrews after a kneecap, an upper arm bone, three fingers and a tooth, relics of the apostle Saint Andrew, are said to have been brought here by St Rule/Regulus. The burgh of St Andrews was Scotland’s foremost religious centre through the middle ages, boasting the country’s largest cathedral and the chief ecclesiastical courts of the kingdom. However, all this changed in 1560, when the Reformation suppressed the cathedral and ejected the archbishop. Since then St Andrews has primarily been a University Town, the medieval colleges there having survived the Reformation.


St Andrews is also known for golf. Golf has been played in Scotland since at least the 1400s, and St Andrews is internationally recognised as the 'Home of Golf'. Famously, in 1457 King James II tried to ban golf and football, as young men weren't spending their time practising their archery. The oldest surviving rules for golf were written in 1744 for the Company of Gentlemen Golfers, who played on Leith links, and this is taken to be the birth of the modern game.