Saints and Stones: St. Magnus Cathedral
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St Magnus Cathedral is the most northerly cathedral in the U.K. The Cathedral was begun in 1137 by the Norse Earl Rognvald. However, the story begins in 1117, when the enmity between Earl Magnus and his cousin, Hakon, the joint rulers of Orkney, resulted in the former's death by the latter's hand. Magnus was made a saint in 1135.

Earl Rognvald had been granted half of the Earldom of Orkney by the King of Norway and came to Orkney with the express intention of reclaiming rights lost by his uncle, Earl Magnus of Orkney, and to build a church of stone to celebrate his uncle's recent sainthood.

Many of the masons who built the Cathedral came from Durham whose cathedral was also under construction. The original church comprised the choir of today's Cathedral. When completed, St Magnus's remains were brought from Birsay and interred in a column. After his death and subsequent sainthood, St Rognvald, too, was also interred here. What you see today is the result of near continuous work over the following 875 years.

About St. Magnus

St. Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, Orkney Website
Orkneyjar: St. Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall
Undiscovered Scotland: St. Magnus Cathedral
Wikipedia: St. Magnus Cathedral
Orkneyjar: St. Magnus-The Martyr of Orkney
New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia: Kirkwall

Journey to St. Magnus

St. Magnus Cathedral is located on Broad Street in Kirkwall, the Orkney Mainland's largest population center.

Ordnance Survey Map (HY4488710914)

Visitors Information

Visitors information on St. Magnus Cathedral may be found at the St. Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, Orkney Website website. General tourist information may be found on the Visit Orkney website.

Additional Photos of St. Magnus

Front of St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall
Main Entrance to St. Magnus Cathedral
Side Door at Front of St. Magnus Cathedral
Interior, St. Magnus Cathedral
Interior Arches, St. Magnus Cathedral
Interior Arches, St. Magnus Cathedral
Blind Wall Arcading, Interior, St. Magnus Cathedral
Floor Tiles, St. Magnus Cathedral
Rose Window in South Transept, St. Magnus Cathedral
Plaque on Pillar Where St. Magnus Is Buried, St. Magnus Cathedral
Cross Marking Spot Where St. Magnus is Buried, St. Magnus Cathedral
Plaque on Pillar Where St. Rognvald Is Buried, St. Magnus Cathedral
Cross Marking Spot Where St. Rognvald Is Buried, St. Magnus Cathedral
Norse Connections: Statue of St. Olaf, St. Magnus Cathedral
Tombstone Inside St. Magnus Cathedral
Tombstone Inside St. Magnus Cathedral
Tombstone Inside St. Magnus Cathedral
Tombstone Inside St. Magnus Cathedral
Side Door, St. Magnus Cathedral
Close-Up of Rose Window Exterior, St. Magnus Cathedral
Side of St. Magnus Cathedral
Rear of St. Magnus Cathedral


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