The Building of the Cathedral
The Norse Cathedral
The Usage of the Cathedral in History
The Usage of the Cathedral Today
The Art of the Cathedral
Behind the Scenes in the Cathedral
Famous Orcadians & Others With Links
Engraving of the 'Earl's Seat' - SMC241
St Magnus Cathedral is able to be called a cathedral because it once housed the seat of a bishop. The term 'cathedral' comes from the Latin 'cathedra' which was the throne of a bishop.
From its foundation, St Magnus Cathedral was intended to be the Episcopal seat of the Bishopric of Orkney. The 'Orkneyinga Saga' tells of how Earl Rognvald vowed to build "a stone minster at Kirkwall and that the "Episcopal seat must be moved there".
This engraving was made in the first half of the nineteenth century and shows the old 'Earl's Seat' which had once been the bishop's.