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Published: 15 May 2021

By Andy Ross

Article of the Week - number sixty - scarves inspired by St Magnus

St Magnus, Martyr of Orkney, is well-known in the Northern Islands but a recent project is unearthing even more about his legacy. 

A few years ago a small piece of red stone, incised with a cross, was found in Shetland. The unusual colour led to a conversation which, in turn, led to the connection with three churches in the isles, also unusual, in this case for their towers. At least one of those towers was made of the same red sandstone as the piece with the cross on it. This stone was imported from Orkney, where it was used to create the Cathedral, and so, the thinking goes, spread the cult of St Magnus northwards. 

These three scarves were commissioned by The Shetland Museum and Archives as Limited Edition merchandise from The Shetland Tweed Company after an altar cloth, pictured top left in situ in the Museum display, was also commissioned. On the right are photographs of the Shetland wool scarves along with two pieces of the red sandstone that come from one of the sites in Shetland where the towered churches stood.