Hamilton Hall (University of St Andrews)

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This article is about Hamilton Hall in St Andrews. For other uses, see Hamilton Hall.

Hamilton Hall was a hall of residence for the University of St Andrews, Scotland, between the years of 1949 and 2006. The building is located on Golf Place, beside the Old Course. It featured both in the film Chariots of Fire and in coverage of the many golf tournaments played over the Old Course.

Grand Hotel[edit]

The building originally opened as the Grand Hotel in 1895 at the time of a rapid expansion of St Andrews as a popular tourist destination. It was built by businessman Thomas Hamilton, after reputedly having been rejected when he sought membership of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club.[1] The Grand Hotel was in a prime location to take advantage of two of the city's attractions: golf and sea bathing. Indeed, the hotel soon became very successful and even managed to attract royal clientele in the early years of the twentieth century. However, the hotel was requisitioned by the armed forces during the Second World War and never reopened as a hotel.[1] Following the end of the war, there was a proposal to sell the building to the Roman Catholic Church as a residence and seminary. This plan caused much alarm among the more traditional Presbyterians in the town and was soon abandoned.

University hall of residence[edit]

Royal & Ancient Golf Clubhouse and Hamilton Hall

Instead the hotel was acquired by the University of St Andrews, was renamed Hamilton Hall after the Duke of Hamilton, then the Chancellor of the university, and was opened as a hall of residence in 1949. In 2004 the University announced that it was to sell the hall as the result of an unsolicited bid.[2] Consequently the university session 2005−06 was the last year that Hamilton Hall was open as a hall of residence.[3] The building was sold for £20 million.[4] In addition, it was decided that Eden Court — an annexe to the main hall — would also be sold. However, it was not bought by the same purchasers and has since become an annexe of McIntosh Hall, another student residence of the University of St Andrews.

Following refurbishment and renovation, the hall is planned to reopen as a number of private residences.

Development into private residence[edit]

Wasserman Real Estate Capital obtained planning permission to convert the building into 23 luxury timeshare apartments.[5]

In July 2006, work began on Hamilton Hall to convert it into a prestigious residence club, to be called The St Andrews Grand. While many options were considered for Hamilton Hall, a residence club bringing like-minded people together to preserve the Victorian building was considered the best option. Membership prices are between $1.3 and $3.3 million[clarification needed] dependent upon the size of the flat, its view and its position within the building. Services were to include butlers, housekeeping, chefs, private and communal dining, spa and treatments for men and women, club/library, games/billiards room and courtesy cars.

By October 2008, Hamilton Hall had seen no renovation work and was in a state of disrepair. Several windows were broken or gone, leaving the inside open to the perils of Scottish weather, and the facade of the building was deteriorating. Many local residents have moved for the sale of Hamilton Hall from the owners and developers of the St. Andrews Grand, Wasserman Real Estate Capital, LLC[clarification needed].

In early 2009 a Scottish-based property development company took on the project management. A significantly revised plan (which included keeping the name 'Hamilton Hall') was to result in the development of 12 large and very luxurious apartments, in keeping with the history and traditions of St Andrews. A public announcement of the revised plan was expected in the spring of 2009.

The development did not take place. Having been repossessed by the bank, the property was to be put up for sale again.[5] Jones Lang LaSalle in Scotland was selected by the lender (Heritable Creditor) to place the property on the market beginning in June 2009.[6]

In December 2009 Hamilton Hall was acquired by US businessman Herb Kohler who intended to restore the building.[7] In January 2011, Kohler announced that the building is renamed Hamilton Grand and presented the plan to convert it into 26 luxury apartments.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Race against the clock to rescue St Andrews golf icon". The Scotsman. 10 March 2010. Retrieved 9 January 2016. 
  2. ^ Curtis, Polly (9 July 2004). "St Andrews takes £20m for historic hall". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Hamilton Grand Fact Sheet". Hamilton Grand. January 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
  4. ^ http://www.ros.gov.uk/citizen/propsearch.html
  5. ^ a b "St Andrews landmark 'unfairly sold'". The Scotsman. 26 October 2009. Retrieved 9 January 2016. 
  6. ^ http://www.hotelinteractive.com/article.aspx?articleid=14083
  7. ^ "US magnate buys historic St Andrews building". BBC News. 4 December 2009. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 56°20′37″N 2°48′10″W / 56.343565°N 2.802801°W / 56.343565; -2.802801