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Saint Magnus Cathedral

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Address: Broad Street, Kirkwall KW15 1NX, Scotland
Phone Number:
+44 1856 874894
13:00 - 18:00
Closed now
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Sun 13:00 - 18:00
Mon - Sat 09:00 - 18:00

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

Read all 1,124 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 749
  • 265
    Very good
  • 25
  • 0
  • 1
Incredible Place to visit

The cathedral is magnificent and well worth visiting. It makes you want to further investigate the history of Orkney.

Reviewed yesterday
Naramata, Canada
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1,124 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,040: English reviews
Naramata, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed yesterday NEW

The cathedral is magnificent and well worth visiting. It makes you want to further investigate the history of Orkney.

Thank hazelclark2017
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
782 reviews
286 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 235 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This is a wonderful ancient building with fantastic stonework and ambience. I must admit to being a bit 'cathedral-ed-out' when I travel in Europe, but this is something very special.

Thank Vandieman111
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 week ago

Grest buildimg to visit. The story of St Magnus is interesting along with seeing the model of his skull showing how he died! Get and read the Orkneyinga Saga witten around 1200 AD for more gory details!

Thank David B
Level Contributor
23 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

A pleasant hour or two spent inside and in the cemetery. There's a tour available for a small fee for the upper level in the cathedral.

Thank Pilatesperson
Soderkoping, Sweden
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

This magnificent cathedral is well worth a visit while on Orkney! Built for the bishops of Orkney when Orkney were ruled by the Norse Earls of Orkney. The construction began in 1137 and was finished around three hundred years later! In the cathedral you will find St Magnus' grave. Areally magnificent cathedral!

Thank 250swede
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The building of this magnificent example of a medieval cathedral was started in 1137, and some of the original stonework remains. It is one of few Scottish cathedrals to have survived the reformation relatively intact. It is dedicated to St Magnus whose relics are interred in one of the columns. The founder, one of the Orkney earls Ragnvald, who also... More 

Thank billdeeley
Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Great treasure in kirkwall. Upstairs tours at 11am and 2pm if you have time. Worth a view - free entry.

Thank janelassey
Orillia, Canada
Level Contributor
153 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

There is a guided self-tour sheet you can pick up on entering that has a ton of information on it and guides you around this wonderful and historic cathedral.

Thank Mike B
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

St. Magnus stands out on the bleak scape of Kirkwall. Build by Norsemen originally but when Orkney Islands were given to the Scots, the cathedral went to the town of Kirkwall and not the Church of Scotland. The Church of Scotland uses the church but pilgrims of different faiths always welcome. I had a great discussion with the kind lady... More 

Thank dhp888
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Attended family wedding here, the most beautiful romantic setting. Such a historic church. The ambience added to the occasion.


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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?