St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, Orkney.

This evening, the focus of my blog is the impressive  St Magnus Cathedral at Kirkwall, Orkney, Scotland Here is a summary 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 in 1560.
  • Major restoration work was undertaken between 1913 and 1930.

St Magnus Cathedral, Orkney, Scotland.

Inside St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, Orkney

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

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