The Cathedral of St Andrew was built in 1158 and became the centre of the Medieval Catholic Church in Scotland as the seat of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and the Bishops and Archbishops of St Andrews. It fell into disuse and ruin after Catholic mass was outlawed during the 16th-century Scottish Reformation. It is currently a monument in the custody of Historic Environment Scotland. The ruins indicate that the building was approximately 119 m long, and is the largest church to have been built in Scotland.
The west end was blown down in a storm and rebuilt between 1272 and 1279. The cathedral was finally completed in 1318 and featured a central tower and six turrets; of these remain two at the east and one of the two at the western extremity, rising to a height of 30 metres. On the 5th of July it was consecrated in the presence of King Robert I, who, according to legend, rode up the aisle on his horse.
A fire partly destroyed the building in 1378; restoration and further embellishment were completed in 1440.
In June 1559 during the Reformation, a Protestant mob incited by the preaching of John Knox ransacked the cathedral; the interior of the building was destroyed. The cathedral fell into decline following the attack and became a source of building material for the town. By 1561 it had been abandoned and left to fall into ruin.References:
The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.
The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick.