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Archaeology Notes

Event ID 645460

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Archaeology Notes


HY43SE 1 46609 30393.

(HY 4661 3038) St Magnus's Church (NR) (In Ruins)

OS 6" map, Orkney, 2nd ed.,(1903).

For St Magnus' Cenotaph (HY 47016 30013), see HY43SE 8.

The church of St Magnus is an important building belonging to the early Norse phase. It is now roofless but otherwise almost entire and consists of a nave, chancel, and a round western tower. The chancel opens directly out of the nave without a chancel arch and is covered with a barrel-vault, above which is a large chamber under the roof. There are N and S doors in the nave, and the only entrance to the ground stage of the tower is through the W wall of the church.

A church existed here in 1116, when St Magnus was martyred either in the building or just outside it. It seems probable, however, that the existing structure dates from nearer the end of that century.

RCAHMS 1946; V G Childe and W D Simpson 1954; F T Wainwright (ed.) 1962.

'St Magnus' Church' (as on HBM {D of E} plaque) as described.

Visited by OS (AA), 14 October 1972.

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