Magnus Erlendsson shared the earldom of orkney with his cousin, Haakon Paulsson, but jealousy and greed culminated in Magnus being martyred on the island of Egilsay. The cathedral was initiated in 1137 by his nephew Earl Rognvald in his honour, and is the resting place for his relics.
St. Magnus is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful buildings in Scotland. Until 1472 it came under the bishopric of Trondheim in Norway, and strong links are maintained locally with Norway. King James III of Scotland having annexed Orkney from Norway in 1468.
The building itself is visually strong, built from alternating local red and yellow sandstone. Over the centuries this soft stone has weathered in the severe Orkney climate creating quite a sculptured effect.
Energetically, I absolutely love this place. There is an amazing presence here, a real power. I believe that several major ley lines meet under the Cathedral. The earth energies here also link to Rosslyn Chapel just outside Edinburgh, which was built by Earl William St Clair (Sinclair) of Orkney. These connections are strong.
I highly recommend ‘Magnus‘ by Orkney writer George Mackay Brown. It is richly poetic. Also, his book Loom of Light in which words and images are combined to celebrate St Magnus, martyr and peace-maker. Second hand copies are often available as it is out of print.