My visit to Orkney last month was not my first. I went there as a youngster with my family more than half-a-century ago. I don't remember too much of Kirkwall from that holiday. But I do remember visiting St Magnus Cathedral, which describes itself as 'the Light in the North', and then my parents chancing across the workshop of a local master craftsman, Reynold Eunson, who had been responsible for some of the superb wood carvings in the redesigned cathedral chapel to St Rognvald.
My parents bought a wooden bust by Eunson - a likeness of St Rognvald, and based on the full-size carving in St Magnus. I still have it.
You can see how precisely it was based on Eunson's statue of St Rognvald in the cathedral, which is below.
Rognvald was a Norwegian Earl of Orkney who in 1137 initiated the building of Kirkwall's cathedral. He took part in a crusade, was canonised, and is also remembered in the names of two of Orkney's islands, North Ronaldsay and South Ronaldsay.
Reynold Eunson also made traditional Orkney chairs and stools. My parents bought a child's chair and a stool - God know how they got them back to Yorkshire - and the chair, rather marvellously, bears Eunson's mark.
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