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Magus Muir, Memorial to Five Covenanters and Archbishop Sharp Memorial

A Category C Listed Building in St Andrews, Fife

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.3252 / 56°19'30"N

Longitude: -2.8821 / 2°52'55"W

OS Eastings: 345544

OS Northings: 715108

OS Grid: NO455151

Mapcode National: GBR 2N.5DFK

Mapcode Global: WH7S4.P8RV

Entry Name: Magus Muir, Memorial to Five Covenanters and Archbishop Sharp Memorial

Listing Date: 22 October 1984

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 349498

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB15808

Building Class: Cultural

Location: St Andrews and St Leonards

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: St Andrews

Parish: St Andrews And St Leonards

Traditional County: Fife

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Description

MEMORIAL TO FIVE COVENANTERS: (Map Ref: NO 45543, 15109): 1877 by John Whyte-Melville; restored late 20th century. Inscribed upright stone slab with double-sequential head. Rectangular enclosure with parapet walls, rusticated cope and cast-iron railings.

Inscription: Here lies Thomas Brown, James Wood, Andrew Sword, John Weddell and John Clyde who suffered martyrdom on Magus Muir for their adherence to the Word of God and Scotland's Covenanted work of Reformation.

ARCHBISHOP SHARP MEMORIAL: (Map Ref: NO 45618, 15152): 1877 by John Whyte-Melville; restored late 20th century. Rubble pyramidal monument with inset granite rectangular tablet with Latin inscription in relief letters.

Statement of Interest

Two historically associated memorials erected in 1877 at Magus Muir, an area of farm and woodland near St Andrews. They commemorate significant events in the history of the post-Reformation church in Scotland, relating specifically to the assassination/murder of Archbishop James Sharp of St Andrews by a group of Covenanters at this location in 1679.

The five Covenanters were taken prisoner at the battle of Bothwell Bridge in June 1679. They were executed at Magus Muir 5 months later in a vengeful response to the killing of the Archbishop. The 1877 memorial stone is a renewal of an 17th century stone marker at the site. The pyramid-shaped memorial in the woods nearby serves as a further marker of the related events. Its Latin inscription states that near this place, James Sharp, Archbishop of St Andrews was murdered by his enemies in 1679.

Archbishop Sharp has been the subject of criticism for his part in the persecution of those who had signed the National Covenant in 1638 to confirm their opposition to the interference by the Stuart kings in the affairs of the Presbyterian Church.

Half a kilometre to the south at Claremont farm, local land owner and freemason, John Whyte-Melville also restored and re-set an 18th century memorial stone to Andrew Guillan (see separate listing). Guillane, a weaver from Balmerino, was one of two men executed in 1683 for being present at the killing of Archbishop Sharp.

Archbishop Sharp Memorial formerly a Sheduled Monument (SM 9701), removed 2013.

Memorial to Five Covenanters, Magus Muir formerly a Scheduled Monument (SM 9702), removed 2013.

Previously listed as 'Grave of 5 Covenanters, Magus Muir'. Change of Statutory Listing Address and list description revised, 2013.

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