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Ladykirk Stone



There is (or was), in Lady Kirk, at Burwick, South Ronaldsay, Orkney, a large stone which, according to the Rev. G. Low, tradition says St Magnus used as a boat to ferry him over the Pentland Firth, and for its service laid it up in the church, where it is still preserved.

[...] John Bellenden, archdeacon of Moray [in 1529], states the legend to this effect:-- South Ronaldsay is an island inhabited by robust men; it has a church near the sea-shore, where there is a very hard stone called 'a grey whin,' six feet long and four broad, in which the print of two naked feet is fixed, which no workman could have made. Old men narrate that a certain Gallus, being expelled the country, went on board of some ship to find an asylum elsewhere, when suddenly a storm arose by which they were exposed to great danger, and at last were shipwrecked; he at length jumped on to the back of a whale, and vowed, humbly praying to God, that if he was carried safely to shore, he would in memory, &c., build a church to the Virgin Mary. The prayer being heard, he was carried safely to the shore by the assistance of the whale. The whale having become changed into a stone of its own colour, he placed it in that church where it still remains. (Barry's Orkney Islands, p. 443.)
From F.W.L.Thomas's article on Dunadd in PSAS, Dec 1878.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
5th April 2015ce
Edited 5th April 2015ce

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