About this site Archaeology News & Events Archaeological Process Archaeological Sites in the region Local Community Articles & Images Discussion & Debate Web Links Contact Us Go to Entry Page
  Introduction | Fort Canning | Fort Tanjong Katong | Istana Kampong Glam | Palmer Road | Padang | St. Andrew's Cathedral | Others

History of St. Andrew’s Cathedral

In 1823, four years after the establishing of modern Singapore under the East India Company, the present site of the Cathedral was selected by Thomas Stamford Raffles for the construction of a church. Nine years later in 1834, the foundation stone of the first Anglican Church in Singapore was laid. The present Cathedral was designed by Col.Ronald MacPherson and construction work began in 1856 after the initial church was struck twice by lighting in the 1840s and closed after deemed unsafe.

Prior to the fall of Singapore during World War II, the Cathedral and its grounds were employed as a field hospital. After the war, a transept extension was added to the structure in the 1950s and another in the 1980s. In 1973, the Cathedral was granted National Monument Status.

Archaeological Importance of the Site

Presently, the church is undergoing development plans for the construction of an underground auditorium. Preliminary test coring and excavations have revealed abundant archaeological artifacts spanning a time line of some 7 centuries (14th to 20th). Artifacts uncovered from the church grounds suggest that the 14th century settlement of Singapore extend well beyond the immediate reaches of the Singapore River. Both these 14th century and colonial era artifacts are providing a unique glimpse into the occupation patterns of the past.

Site Report

Our dig at St. Andrew's Cathedral has finally come to a close after a glorious year (16th September 2003 - 10th September 2004)! Many many thanks to the hundreds of volunteers that came down to help out! You can find our St. Andrew's progress report summary (including pictures of the finds) here (v 1.5, 2.08 MB).


For more photos, please visit our Photo Gallery.