History of St Leonard’s Chapel

St Leonard’s College was founded in 1512 by Archbishop Alexander Stewart and Prior John Hepburn. It was intended for the education of novices of the Augustinian Order and was administered by the Priory. Students were educated in arts and theology, under the academic supervision of the University. The College disassociated itself from the Priory in 1545.

In 1579, the Colleges of St Leonard and St Salvator (founded 1450) were reconstituted as colleges of arts and philosophy, while teaching at St Mary’s College (founded 1538) focused on theology.

Declining student numbers and the poverty of the University led to the union of the two Arts colleges in 1747, as the United College of St Salvator and St Leonard.

The United College was housed on the site of St Salvator’s College and in 1772 the buildings and gardens of St Leonard’s College were sold off, with the exception of the college chapel, which remains a part of the University.

The rest of the site is now owned by St Leonards School.

St Leonard's College illustration