St Magnus Church, Egilsay

  • Egilsay, Orkney



Follow the path of pilgrims to a fine Norse church marking the site of a saint’s martyrdom.

Earl Magnus was murdered in a confrontation with Earl Hakon about who should rule Orkney in 1116. The church dates to around 1136, when the Bishop William of Orkney and the future earl Rognvald recognised Earl Magnus as a saint.

Its tall, round bell-tower originally stood nearly 20m high and could be seen for miles around. It served as a beacon for pilgrims. Today the roofless church is still a remarkable building in a stunning location.

Explore more with Orkney Digital Guide

Discover nearly 5,000 years of Orkney’s history and prehistory, including St Magnus Church, with our Orkney Digital Guide.

Buy Orkney Digital Guide

Opening times

The interior of the tower is not currently accessible.

Historic Scotland


Download our visitor app

Discover more on the go – the Historic Scotland app lets you find out about Scotland’s most iconic places wherever you are.

Plan your visit

More than 20 of our sites are now open. Please book your tickets in advance.

Become a member

Join Historic Scotland to visit our properties free of charge for a full year and support our work at the same time.

Hire a site for filming

Use one of our fantastic locations on your next shoot for an awe-inspiring backdrop to your work.

Learning visits

Our 300+ historic places serve as creative inspiration for all sorts of learning activities – and for learners of all ages.

Search our events

See the past brought to life by the imaginative year-round programme of events at our properties.