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St Magnus Cathedral

St Magnus Cathedral is the only medieval Scottish
cathedral to have survived intact, and has been
described as ‘the crown of the Northern Isles’. A noble
monument to Scotland’s heritage, it is a classic sight.
The cathedral, made of sandstone, was founded by
the Norseman Jarl Rognvald in 1137 in memory of his
uncle St Magnus, who had been murdered by a rival 20
years beforehand.

The polychrome stonework, yellow and red, is said to be the best of its age in Britain. St Magnus has a number of small commemorative plaques, too, including one in memory of the men who perished on HMS Royal Oak when it was sunk during the Second World War. Another bears the name of Edwin Muir, the poet.

The method of ringing the cathedral bells, known as
‘clocking’, has Norse links and is said to be unique in
the United Kingdom.

If you would like to visit this area as part of a highly personalized small group tour of my native Scotland please e-mail me:

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