St Magnus Cathedral

St Magnus Cathedral known as the Light in the North and founded in 1137 by the Viking, Earl Rognvald, in honour of his uncle St Magnus, dominates Kirkwall on Orkney.

Hanes yr eglwys hon

St Magnus Cathedral was founded as a final resting place for the relics of St Magnus. Work on its construction started in 1137. Towering above the Kirkwall landscape, with its distinctive sandstone hues, it is one of Orkney's most significant landmarks. Parts of this impressive building have stood for more than 850 years and its attractive appearance owes much to the polychromatic effect of the alternating stonework, comprising red sandstone quarried from Head of Holland, north of Kirkwall, and yellow sandstone which is believed to have been quarried on Eday, one of Orkney's northern isles. Sandstone is extremely soft and the weathering effects of Orcadian wind and rain over the course of time have helped create pleasing, almost sculptured effects that add to the Cathedrals charm. 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.

The Reformation brought ruin to many cathedrals but St Magnus Cathedral seems to have emerged relatively unscathed, although the organ, treasures and rich vestments were removed and the wall decorations were covered in whitewash. Despite restoration in the mid 19th century the Cathedral slowly deteriorated until the early 20th century when The Thoms Bequest made further major restoration possible. Between 1913 and 1930, the main alteration to the exterior of the Cathedral was the erection of a tall steeple which replaced the low pyramidal roof of the bell tower. Internally, the screen separating the choir from the nave was removed, along with the pews and galleries. Stained glass windows replaced the formerly plain windows, much of the floor was tiled and the warm red sandstone was revealed by the removal of plaster and whitewash.

Prif nodweddion

  • Pensaernïaeth ysblennydd
  • Gwydr lliw gwefreiddiol
  • Cofebau godidog
  • Celfi campus
  • Awyrgylch swynol
  • Mynwent gyfareddol
  • Hanesion treftadaeth gymdeithasol
  • Treftadaeth genedlaethol yma
  • Cysylltiadau enwog

Gwybodaeth ar gyfer ymwelwyr

  • Safle bws o fewn 100m
  • Ramp neu fynediad gwastad ar gael ar gais
  • Parcio ar y stryd wrth yr eglwys
  • Parcio o fewn 250m
  • Toiledau hygyrch yn yr eglwys
  • Caffi o fewn 500m
  • Siop eglwys neu gofroddion

Other nearby churches


Sant Figael

Mae’r eglwys hon yn edrych fel ysgubor o’r tu allan, ond unwaith y mentrwch y tu mewn, fe welwch ei bod yn uned gyflawn sy’n deillio o’r cyfnod Sioraidd diweddar.


Sant Peulan

Mae Sant Peulan yn tarddu o’r Oesoedd Canol, a saif ar ei phen ei hun ar derfyn ei sarn werdd uchel. I’w chyrraedd, mae’n rhaid troi oddi ar yr heol sydd ag arwydd am Dothan.

Dewch yn Gyfaill Ymddiriedolaeth Genedlaethol yr Eglwysi - ar gyfer pobl sy'n dwli ar eglwysi!