Historic Scotland

Opening times

Open year-round.

 

Overview

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.