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Egilsay, St Magnus's Church

Burial Ground, Church, War Memorial (20th Century)

Site Name Egilsay, St Magnus's Church

Classification Burial Ground, Church, War Memorial (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Old Egilsay Kirk; St Magnus' Church; Egilsay War Memorial

Canmore ID 2697

Site Number HY43SE 1

NGR HY 46609 30393

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
© Copyright and database right 2016.

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Orkney Islands
  • Parish Rousay And Egilsay
  • Former Region Orkney Islands Area
  • Former District Orkney
  • Former County Orkney

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.


Project (February 2014 - July 2014)

A data upgrade project to record war memorials.

Oic_project (1 January 2014 - 14 May 2015)

A project undertaken during 2014 and early 2015 to catalogue and describe all of Orkney's war memorials.

Field Visit (7 January 2014)

Polished grey granite block with lettering engraved and painted black. Surmounted by polished grey granite obelisk. Pedestal formed of four levels: upper three levels unpolished grey granite, the uppermost of which bears an inscription; lowest level concrete. Rests on concrete base bounded by sandstone kerbs within graveyard.

Unveiled 1st July 1921 by Rev A I Pirie, former local minister (information from Brian Budge).


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