Submitted by Owen McCafferty on Fri, 2009-11-20
This is a beautiful building and a favourite of everyone who visits it! The Cathedral was originally built in 1137 by Earl Rognvald. The building was given to the inhabitants of Kirkwall in 1486 by King James III of Scotland. There are numerous tombs and memorial within the cathedral. Most appear in the north and south aisles, where there are quite a number of 17th century grave markers. These are readily identifiable by their repeated motifs of mortality, such as skull, bones, coffins, and hour-glasses.
It is now owned by the Orkney Islands Council who help in it’s upkeep, but the preservation is mainly due to the “Society of Friends of St. Magnus Cathedral” and by donations.
The St. Magnus Cathedral; one of Orkney’s most magnificent landmarks – towering above the Kirkwall landscape with its distinctive red sandstone hues has been justifiably described as “one of the finest and best preserved medieval cathedrals in Scotland” and it is not difficult to see why. Sir Henry Dryden considered the stonework to be the “finest example in Great Britain of the use of stones in two different colours” and few visitors today would disagree. Even now, over 860 years after the initial building work began, St Magnus Cathedral still dominates the Kirkwall skyline – a familiar, and comforting sight, to Kirkwallians around the world.
St. Magnus Centre is not just a church hall – it combines as a meeting place, a visitor centre, an arts venue and as a place for quiet contemplation. Tours take place Tuedays and Thursdays throughout the year at 11:00am and 14:00pm. St Magnus Centre in Palace Road open Monday to Saturday 8.30am-6.30pm. Sunday 1.30-6.30pm (reduced hours in winter); heritage centre, study library, refreshments and souvenirs; free entry.
Contact: St Magnus Cathedral
Tel.: +44(1856) 874894
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