This project presents the results from survey work undertaken at St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, Orkney, between January 2019 and June 2021, as part of the St Magnus Graffiti Project, which was commissioned by Orkney Archaeology Society (OAS) and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and OAS. Volunteers were trained and assisted by Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology (ORCA) archaeologists during four workshops in January and February 2019.
Delighted to announce that Fran who is the curator of the Cathedral was asked to make a presentation on this project at the “Symposium of the study of Historic Graffiti” in York.
Fran approached us to see if we were OK in her putting a proposal forward, and of course we agreed in a flash. We are also helping to fund her costs to attend, as we’re so proud of the work that was done.
Well done Fran 🙂
Our project gets quite a mention in the-past.com web site
and in the latest issue (394) of Current Archaeology magazine:
“Making Your Mark 2022″: The Symposium for the study of Historic Graffiti” has been held and we hope to have a video of it here.
The project has successfully evaluated the potential of the assemblage of graffiti, masons’ marks, and related marks and inscriptions, surviving within the accessible areas of the ground floor of the cathedral. Preliminary findings suggest that a wide range of marks survive in the building, and whilst the assemblage is unsurprisingly dominated by masons’ marks, several examples of ‘dot patterns’, thought to relate to a medieval and early modern folk magic practice, and several incised drawings, which are possibly of medieval or early modern date, have also been recorded. A small number of examples of name-and-date graffiti from the 19th and 20th centuries were also noted during the survey, including inscriptions which can be linked to known individuals.
The number of marks recorded greatly exceeded expectations with a total of 630 marks recorded by the volunteers. Stage 2 work, comprising survey of the upper levels, is planned for 2022.