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View from SE showing ESE front and part of SSW front of church with part of graveyard in foreground

SC 746787

Description View from SE showing ESE front and part of SSW front of church with part of graveyard in foreground

Date 23/8/1894

Collection Erskine Beveridge

Catalogue Number SC 746787

Category On-line Digital Images

Copy of O 589

Scope and Content St Magnus Cathedral, Broad Street, Kirkwall, Mainland, Orkney Islands, from the south-east St Magnus Cathedral, founded c.1130, is the grandest and largest building in Orkney, not only dominating the town of Kirkwall but also acting as a landmark from the sea. Despite an extended building period over four centuries, it is remarkably homogeneous in its design, with striking parallels with two other major churches, Durham Cathedral and Dunfermline Abbey in Fife. Erskine Beveridge photographed the exterior in 1894. The church is cruciform, with an aisled choir, dating from the mid-12th century, at the east end. This tall, narrow choir has a three-storeyed elevation, with two-storeyed side aisles and lofty clerestory windows. A magnificent east window, filling almost the entire height of the gable, lights the choir. The south transept (left) also dates from the mid-12th century, but was remodelled and heightened in the course of the building programme. A small side chapel, dating from the early 13th century, adjoins its lower east face. The belfry stage of the tower dates from the early 14th century, but its squat, late 17th-century pyramidal roof (seen here) gave way to a Gothic, copper-covered spike during a programme of restoration 1913-30. As usual with large medieval churches, building work at St Magnus' Cathedral began at the east end. The first phase, which included the choir, transepts and the lower part of the crossing, was probably completed by 1153, and the church was certainly in use by 1155. It seems almost certain that the masons involved at Durham Cathedral and who had worked previously at Dunfermline, were employed at Kirkwall. Source: RCAHMS contribution to SCRAN.


File Format (TIF) Tagged Image File Format bitmap

Collection Hierarchy - Item Level

Collection Level (551 59) Erskine Beveridge

> Item Level (SC 746787) View from SE showing ESE front and part of SSW front of church with part of graveyard in foreground

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Attribution & Licence Summary

Attribution: © Courtesy of HES (Erskine Beveridge Collection)

Licence Type: Full

You may: copy, display, store and make derivative works [eg documents] solely for licensed personal use at home or solely for licensed educational institution use by staff and students on a secure intranet.

Under these conditions: Display Attribution, No Commercial Use or Sale, No Public Distribution [eg by hand, email, web]

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