Culture

Looking Up, in Kirkwall Part 2: Broad Street

By Bernie Bell

And so, we move into Broad street, where our first ‘port of call’ is Tankerness House, where we find a very worn, very old, carving over the doorway, and also another green plaque.

And so, to the Town Hall, with the carvings over its doorway, and then, crossing the road, with some care, as it’s usually busy, standing in front of St. Magnus Cathedral, looking up and across, we saw what I believe to be the most recent of the Kirkwall carvings – the Scottish thistle on the very top of the Town Hall

A man who had just left the cathedral, saw what we were doing, and stopped to tell us that  the thistle was replaced, three years ago, because…it was found that the support of the old one, had corroded away and there was nothing holding it in place! A new one was made, and, hopefully, fixed firmly in place!

The same man then pointed out the gargoyles, way up on the cathedral, and also pointed out that the one on the left, has its hand up by its mouth and is shouting.  The one on the right, has its hand up to its ear, and is listening!  We’d notice the gargoyles before, but not what they were doing.

At this point, not to put too fine a point on it, we were very relieved that OIC had re-opened the toilets in St. Magnus Lane.  Just at the right mid-point in our walk.

We then made a slight detour down Castle Street to take a photo of the carving over the doorway to the Masonic Hall,  and of a plaque recording the position of the “last remaining fragment” of Kirkwall Castle.


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