« НазадПродовжити »
sell them their right of Udal, so that they should no longer be obliged to redeem it. The matter was easily arranged on both sides. The jarl obtained a mark for every acre throughout the islands, so that there came in money enough for the building of the church, which is very handsome.”
History, however, as well as the building itself, teaches us that the whole church, as it now stands, was by no means the work of Kol and Ragnvald. For, first, it is known that the pillars farthest towards the east and west, marked in the annexed ground plan with the faintest shade, belong to additions made at a far later period (viz., as late as the sixteenth century); and secondly, it is not even decided whether Kol and Ragnvald built the whole of the remaining part of the church, the transepts included, or whether they built only that part of the present choir which, from the two eastern pillars of the tower, comprises the six nearest pillars to the east, marked on the ground plan with the darkest shade. Between this last-named portion of the choir, which is undoubtedly the oldest part of the church, and the portion lying to the west, whose pillars on the ground plan have a rather lighter shade, there is a perceptible difference of style.
That zealous and skilful archæologist, Sir Henry Dryden, Bart., of Canons Ashby, to whom I am indebted for the original of the following ground plan, likewise did me the favour to give me, among several large drawings, a very excellent, but here very reduced, section of that part of the choir which is certainly known to have been built by Kol and Ragnvald. The section is taken from the middle of the nave, and represents a part of the northern side walls nearest to one of the pillars of the tower. It enables us to form an idea of the very considerable size of the church, and of the importance of Kol's and Ragnvald's labours, as well as readily to perceive in what style the church was originally built. This style, which in England is called the Norman, was indeed already somewhat obsolete in more southern districts at the time when St. Magnus'
Church was built; but it was quite natural that, so far northwards, it should be retained somewhat longer, espe
cially as the architect was a native of the still more northern country of Norway.
The next considerable portion of the cathedral which might possibly have been built by Kol and Ragnvald, or at least about their time, and which includes the transepts, the two western pillars of the tower, and the six pillars (three on each side) farther towards the west, has, indeed, like the very oldest part, round arches. But in these, as well as in the whole architecture, a much later style is clearly visible. It is, as we have said, doubtful whether this part of the church is also to be ascribed to Kol and Ragnvald. “Supposing that it is (says Sir Henry Dryden, in a letter accompanying the drawings), I explain the difference of scale and workmanship thus. Ronald began a church on a much smaller scale than the present St. Magnus. He became short of money, alienated seignorial rights in Orkney, got plenty of money, and went on with the church on a larger scale, and with better workmen than before. But (adds Sir Henry), though I spent eighteen weeks at the building, and have thought over the thing many times, I cannot make out the history of the building to my own satisfaction. There is no doubt that there is a great deal of copying in it; i. e., of building at one time in the style of an earlier one. In Scotland the semicircular arch is used in all styles, down to the year 1600.” In the additions made to St. Magnus' Church to the east and west, in the sixteenth century, round arches are also found between the chief pillars.
In the winter of 1263–1264 the body of the Norwegian king Hakon Hakonsön was deposited in the cathedral; and somewhat more than twenty years afterwards the Norwegian princess Margaret (the maid of Norway), daughter of King Erik, the priest-hater, and of Margaret, daughter of the Scotch King, Alexander the Third, was buried in it. Upon the death of Alexander, her mother's father, in 1289,
Margaret, though only seven years of age, became queen • of Scotland, but died in Orkney on her passage from Norway, in 1290. The cathedral naturally received the dust of most of the Norwegian jarls, bishops, and other mighty men, so long as the Norwegian dynasty lasted; but for their monuments we now seek in vain. By the alterations and rebuilding in the interior of the church they have all been long since destroyed.
For a Scandinavian, the church derives its greatest interest not only from the fact that it was founded, and partly built, by a Norwegian jarl, but more particularly from the circumstance that a Norwegian chief, the layman Kol, is expressly stated to have been the person “who was chiefly answerable for the building, and determined how everything should be.” For we thus find on the British Islands, and far towards the North, a manifestation of the same desire to build splendid churches and convents, which farther southwards, as for instance in Normandy, so vividly ani. mated the Christian descendants of the emigrant Vikings. The oldest part of St. Magnus' Church will, on a close inspection, show not a few resemblances to several of the nearly contemporary, but somewhat older, Norman churches in Normandy.
Pentland Firth.—The Highlands.-Caithness.-Sutherland.
Dingwall.–Fear of the Danes.
THE Orkneys are separated towards the south from the most northern part of the Scotch Highlands by a firth about eight miles in breadth, called Pentland Firth (Old N., Petlandfjörðr, the fiord of the land of the Picts ?). The maelstrom, or whirlpool, in this firth, where the currents from the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean meet, is at least as violent and dangerous as the “ Röst,” so famed in ancient times, between the Orkneys and Shetland. Even in calm weather the meeting currents raise the waves