John Burnet Hall

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John Burnet Hall
Former names Atholl Hotel
Alternative names Atholl
General information
Type Student residence
Address John Burnet Hall
Links Crescent
St Andrews
KY16 9JF
Town or city St Andrews, Fife
Country Scotland
Coordinates 56°20′32″N 2°48′24″W / 56.342136°N 2.806572°W / 56.342136; -2.806572Coordinates: 56°20′32″N 2°48′24″W / 56.342136°N 2.806572°W / 56.342136; -2.806572
Renovated 1962
Cost £40 000 + £25 000[1]
Owner University of St Andrews
University managed website

John Burnet Hall (also known as Atholl) is the smallest capacity Hall of Residence owned by the University of St Andrews. It was formerly the Atholl Hotel and is located in the town of St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, it has 76 bedrooms, of which 34 are shared in the main building and 36 single, en-suite rooms in the annex.[2] All the rooms are catered, with meals being provided 3 times a day during the week and breakfast and lunch at weekends.[2] Prices for 2013–14 are £5,780 - £6,975 per year.[2]


The hall is named after the Scottish classicist, John Burnet,[1] it was formerly called the Atholl Hotel before it was purchased by the University of St Andrews.[3][4]


John Burnet Hall is located on the main road coming into St Andrews, it overlooks the 18th hole of the St Andrews Links Old Course and the North Sea and West Sands can be seen beyond that.


Communal areas include a computer room and library, TV room, laundry room, common room, known as the West Lounge, with a Table football table and ping pong table,[2] the hall also has a Nintendo Wii, often used with a projector, and an Xbox 360 complete with an array of games. WiFi is available throughout the hall through the university's eduroam service.[5]


Due to John Burnet Hall's small size, each year its residents will often form a close-knit community, continuing the traditions relayed by past and returning residents, its traditional events most notably include three annual balls: one held in north-east Fife's Fernie Castle at the beginning of the first semester, the Hall Ball towards the beginning of the second semester and finally the Traditions Ball held near the end of the second semester. In terms of in-hall student traditions the hall has its own purity test, a 'Yipping' fertility chant and a John Burnet anthem, to name a few,[6] on the anthem, it is believed to have originated in the early 1990s, with its chorus being 'John Burnet // La la la' and its verses containing dimetric couplets detailing the Hall's best features, for example, 'Good at sports // Avoiding courts'. As of 2015, John Burnet has its own official poem titled 'Ode to an Elderly Athollite', provided in every room and recited on special occasions. Written loosely in iambic tetrameter, the following poem features an elderly speaker joyfully reliving the more nuanced traditions of John Burnet.

Ode to an Elderly Athollite

When thoughts run through my senile head

That rests upon a hospice bed,

I hope that I will not forget

That I was once in John Burnet.

I’ll yip when nurses leave in twos!

‘I want IV in green and blue!’

To hear piano come through floors

And see Front Hall behind each door!

On Rainbow Road I whirl wheelchairs

To Fernie, to West Lounge: I’ll be there!

With each new patient: ‘a semester abroad!’

It’s Gents’ Night tonight on the Geriatric Ward!

O Slap Cup, Flip Cup with my medication!

Screaming ‘He drinks in moderation’!

I’ll coin each cup that’s filled with pills

For John Burnet will cure my ills!

So be it in world or hospice bed,

John Burnet breathes inside my head.

For I am Foster, and I believe,

I, Athollite, will never leave.


  1. ^ a b "Memorial to Professor". The Glasgow Herald. 16 June 1962. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d "St Andrews University – John Burnet Hall". Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "Atholl Hotel and use of the name Atholl". Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "Atholl Hotel 1950". Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "Residence Network". Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  6. ^ JBH Traditions  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]