Interesting Info
St Magnus Church's high tower can be seen from many islands around. Although unusual in Orkney today, there were other churches with towers in Stenness and Deerness.
Population
26
Useful Advice
There are no shops on Egilsay so ensure that you take provisions with you!
Essential sites to visit
St Magnus Kirk
Cenotaph
Cenotaph marking the spot where St Magnus was killed

MV EynhallowEgilsay is one of three nearby islands, including Wyre and Rousay, which are all served by one ferry. As a result, keep a close eye on which island you are arriving at so that you do not miss your intended destination.

Egilsay is perhaps most famous for being the island featured in the Viking sagas, where St Magnus, the martyr, was murdered in 1117 by his cousin, with whom he shared Earldom of Orkney. The St Magnus Church in Egilsay is missing a roof but is a tall impressive structure, despite it's age. It is a short walk from the pier.

View from the Loch of the GraandIn the middle of the island is a Cenotaph, marking the spot where St Magnus fell.

Although Egilsay is a smaller island (3 miles long), with less sites to visit, please do not stop after the main sites of interest have been 'done'. A walk through this lovely island is highly rewarding.

Egilsay is known as a Corncrake island. Both keen and casual birdwatchers should listen out for the distinctive throaty call of these illusive birds!

George Mackay Brown
We ran into sudden pools of sun; the sea lost its greyness; it flashed with changing colour like the heart of an opal; then it was grey again; and the round-towered stone kirk of Egilsay took for a moment the uncertain glory.
George Mackay Brown, A Calendar of Love

St Magnus Church photo © Fraser Dixon, Cenotaph Photo © Fraser Dixon, MV Eynhallow Photo © Fraser Dixon, View from Loch of the Graand Photo © Fraser Dixon.
All text © Magnus Dixon. GMB extract © The Estate of George Mackay Brown.

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