Outreach St Magnus Graffiti Project

Link: Marks of devotion – exploring historic graffiti in St Magnus Cathedral

Marks of devotion: exploring historic graffiti in St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall - an article on Current Archaeology’s The Past website outlining the St Magnus Cathedral Graffiti Project.
Modern mason's mark in St Magnus Cathedral. Antonia Thomas.
Modern mason’s mark in St Magnus Cathedral. (Antonia Thomas)
St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, Orkney. (Sigurd Towrie)

Launched in January 2019, the community project, led by Dr Antonia Thomas, was a collaboration between the UHI Archaeology Institute and the Orkney Archaeology Society and investigated, recorded and analysed the markings in and around the cathedral, in Kirkwall, Orkney.

St Magnus Cathedral contains one of the most significant graffiti assemblages in Scotland, including masons’ marks, enigmatic symbolic designs, such as hexafoils, and a wide range of both pencilled and inscribed “name-and-date” graffiti.

Planning for the project’s second stage – once again involving volunteers and looking at the cathedral’s upper levels – is ongoing with hopes for a 2023 start. Watch this space.

In the meantime, click here to download the self-guided leaflet and the project report.