Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

St Magnus Cathedral

Image of St Magnus Cathedral.

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.

The building is a fine example of a Romano-Gothic Cathedral. In 2007, the Cathedral was highly commended for the ‘Best Historic Attraction – Cathedral/Abbey’ award from the Icons of Scotland magazine.


St Magnus Cathedral, Broad Street, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NX.



Opening Times

Summer opening - 1 April - 30 September

Monday - Saturday, from 09:00 - 18:00 and Sunday 13:00 - 18:00.

Winter opening - 1 October – 31 March

Monday - Saturday, from 09:00 - 13:00 and 14:00 - 17:00 (Cathedral is closed for lunch - 13:00 - 14:00).

Fixed events and access information for 2018 are available in PDF format from the 'Related Downloads' section of the page.


Facility is free of charge.

Further Information

Tours of the upper levels of the Cathedral are available on Thursdays and Saturdays at 11:00 and 14:00. There is a charge for the tours and they must be booked with the Custodian by calling 01856874894.

Vouchers are now available for the upper level tours. They cost £8.35 each and the tour can be booked at any time throughout the year. They make an excellent and unusual gift! The vouchers can be purchased from the Custodians at the Cathedral. Please see a sample of the voucher below.

 Image of a sample of the Gift Voucher.

 A link to the St Magnus Cathedral Twitter page is available from the Related Sites section of the page.

  Historic Scotland logo.

Related Sites

Related Downloads