St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall

St Magnus Cathedral, Orkney

This evening, the focus of my blog is the impressive  St Magnus Cathedral at Kirkwall, Orkney. Here is a sumary of the building’s history:

  • Inspired by the moving of the relics of St Magnus from Birsay to Kirkwall
  • Initiated by Earl Rognvald II of Orkney AD 1137 and eventually completed about 300 years later.
  • Earl Rognvald’s father, Kol Kalason supervised the construction.
  • Built entirely from a mix of red and yellow Orkney sandstone by masons from Durham, England. This was probably the same school of masons who built the Cathedral of Trondheim, Norway.
  • Building of the Cathedral acted as a stimulus to the development of Kirkwall. It became a place of religious pilgrimage, the population increased and prosperity rose.
  • The Cathedral emerged relatively unscathed from the Reformation.
  • Major restoration work was undertaken between 1913 and 1930

A very impressive building with direct links to Orkney’s Scandinavian past.

St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall

St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, Orkney


St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall

St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, Orkney


Inside St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall

Inside St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, Orkney


Stained Glass, St Magnus Cathedral

Stained Glass, St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall


Elsewhere today, I have:

  • Been heavily occupied managing a group of 47 guests who were due to arrive Edinburgh but were diverted to Newcastle as a consequence of the volcanic ash cloud.
  • Drew up itinerary for a two day tour of the Highlands for a small group visiting Glasgow.
  • Made useful contact with an upscale hotel in Helensburgh.
  • Agreed itinerary for a self-drive tour of Scotland and Ireland for a couple who plan to marry in course of the tour.

Weather has been atrocious, with heavy winds and driving rain causing major transport disruption all over Scotland and northern England.

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