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Saint Magnus Cathedral

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Address: Broad Street, Kirkwall KW15 1NX, Scotland
Phone Number:
+44 1856 874894

St Magnus Cathedral, built from red and yellow sandstone, is of...

St Magnus Cathedral, built from red and yellow sandstone, is of international significance. This ‘fine minster’ took about 300 years to build, the foundations starting in 1137. It was dedicated to Magnus Erlendsson, Earl of Orkney. He shared the earldom with his cousin, Haakon Paulsson, but jealousy and greed culminated in Magnus being martyred on the island of Egilsay.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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    Very good
  • 23
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  • 1
Second oldest in the UK but it was built in the time of the norway folk who owned it then.

Open during the day until 5pm. Climb to the top if you don't mind heights. Very interesting place. Have a good day.

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 weeks ago
Kirkwall, United Kingdom
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1,093 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,009: English reviews
Kirkwall, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Open during the day until 5pm. Climb to the top if you don't mind heights. Very interesting place. Have a good day.

Thank Ericmclennan2016
Level Contributor
80 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

I visit Orkney several times a year and would recommend everyone to visit this beautiful cathedral. It is a great place to be quiet and reflect.

Thank 1PDS
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 11, 2016 via mobile

We try to go to a service in St Magnus on each annual visit to Kirkwall. It is a beautiful historic building with amazing medieval memorials and lovely stained glass windows. The Sunday service is peaceful and reflective with an emphasis on reconciliation. The preaching is challenging and relevant but even if one is not a believer a visit to... More 

Thank 144Daisymay
Level Contributor
40 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 23, 2016

This beautiful old cathedral dates back to the 1100's. The appearance from outside is arresting with bands of different coloured stone. The cathedral was built at a time when Orkney was under the control of Norway and so is influenced by their culture as well as the Norman influence from English stonemasons who are thought to have worked on it.... More 

1 Thank Barbarblanc
Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
59 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 23, 2016

Completely interesting, and make sure you get a good guide, like Orkney Uncovered for the stories on the history of the Cathedral, and take the upper floors tour

1 Thank SteveS999
Ashford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 21, 2016

I visited the Orkney Islands in September/October and being a lover of old buildings, church's and places of interest I was overwhelmed with the amount of History Orkney has to offer. Visiting the Cathedral and not knowing much about its past history I had a huge appetite for information on what is most definitely a magnificent building. I found the... More 

1 Thank DizzieLizzie2016
Penzance, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
44 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 15, 2016

This was our third trip to Orkney and we still find time to visit the cathedral every time. We were in Kirkwall for a week so visited quite a bit. It really is a beautiful building and if you catch it at the right time, the sun not only brings out the colour of the red stonework on the outside... More 

2 Thank Steve D
St. John's, Canada
Level Contributor
69 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 14, 2016

We really enjoyed learning about the Viking connections. The Cathedral is centrally located and well maintained. Definitely must visit.

1 Thank travelgolly
Level Contributor
22 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 12, 2016 via mobile

lovely x just lovely what an amazing place huge stain glass windows. Lovely place to be able to think.

Thank Rachel O
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
64 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 9, 2016

We were very fortunate to be there when the Battle of Jutland was being remembered. The cathedral was adorned in poppies which cascaded from a window. Magnificent display. If you are interested in ww1 / 2 history then the ships bell from HMS Royal Oak can be viewed within the cathedral. Well worth a visit.

Thank Kenny B

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  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?