In 1291 McIntosh and Chattan became forever linked when Eva, the daughter of Clan Chattan’s chief, married Angus, the chief of Clan McIntosh.
Skip forward 630 years to when the row of buildings on Abbotsford Crescent, that currently makeup McIntosh Hall, contained private houses and a hotel. In 1921, Professor William McIntosh offered the University the use of No. 1 Abbotsford Crescent (Chattan House and what is now the main entrance to Hall) as a residence for fifteen male students. No. 2 Abbotsford Crescent was soon added to this, resulting in room for twenty-eight students.
After St Salvator’s Hall was built as a male residence, these houses became a permanent University residence for female students, at least until males were admitted again in 1982. During the 1930s, Nos. 3 and 4 were also purchased and the residence was modernised. It was also at this time that the basement was converted into the dining hall and kitchen that are still in use today, including the installation of the stained glass windows that illustrate R.L. Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses. The rest of the Crescent was acquired during the 1940s and 1950s. Renovations and minor changes have continued since then, but what has not changed is the tremendous hall spirit and welcoming atmosphere found here.
McIntosh through the ages
Originally a terrace of 10 individual houses, construction began on Abbotsford Crescent in 1850. The easternmost terrace (Chattan House) was owned by Professor William McIntosh, who gave the house to the University for use as a hall of residence in 1921. The University then went on to increase the size of the Hall by acquiring the rest of the Crescent in the following decades.
Abbotsford Crescent was originally built as part of a feuing scheme; so although the houses on the Crescent all look similar in age/style, they were actually built over the course of almost 30 years and were designed by four different architects.
Due to the piecemeal nature of the building, a few inconsistencies were made during construction. Kinloch House was built slightly too far northeast – so when all the houses were eventually joined up, they didn’t quite line up correctly. Also, three of the newer houses were built with 5 storeys instead of the original 3/4. To create uniformity, most of the other houses on the street were eventually raised to create an extra storey. However, not every house was raised to include an attic – this is why A floor doesn’t continue the full length of the building (not, as is often rumoured, due to a fire. Thankfully, this is just an urban myth).
McIntosh Hall in 1910
McIntosh Hall now (you can see how the terraces on the right have had some extra storeys added).
McIntosh Hall in 1954
McIntosh Hall now
Purchasers and erection dates
A look through time
Architectural expansion and redevelopment in St Andrews, 1810-c.1894
The information on this webpage must largely be attributed to Dr Robin Dennis Alexander Evetts to whom we are eternally grateful for his thesis with the above title. Special thanks also go out to Sarah Hawkins (2018-19) for the work she put into pulling all the information together.