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The Bishop's Palace

Palace Rd., Kirkwall KW15 1PD, Scotland
+44 1856 871918
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Step inside the spectacular ruins of two remarkable residences at the heart of Kirkwall. The medieval Bishop's Palace was built in the 1100s at about the same time as St Magnus Cathedral. King Hakon of Norway died within its walls after an indecisive battle with the Scots at Largs in 1263. In the early 1600s, the Bishop's Palace was incorporated into a refined Renaissance palace commissioned by Earl Patrick Stewart, one of Orkney's most notorious rulers. The Earl's palace was reputedly built using slave labour.
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  • Average21%
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Palace Rd., Kirkwall KW15 1PD, Scotland
+44 1856 871918
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Reviews (184)
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1 - 10 of 162 reviews

Reviewed yesterday

If you buy a ticket for the Earls Palace across the road, this is also included. It is similar in that it is the shell of the building, with little left other than the walls. It is smaller than the one opposite, but as the...More

Thank Jeff1903
Reviewed 3 days ago via mobile

You buy your tickets as part of the Earls palace. English Heritage members get in free. This palace has lots of stairs so is not great for those who can't walk easily. The tower is four floors high and gives good views over Kirkwall and...More

Thank Sam3314
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

An interesting set of ruins that is worth a visit to help get the whole Orkney story. Well explained by the notice boards.

Thank Phil P
Reviewed 6 days ago via mobile

Interesting step back in history. The stonework is lovely but keeps the area cool so visit on a warm day or take a coat.

Thank Revatron
Reviewed 1 week ago

Another treat to be found in The Orkneys. We did not spend a lot of time here but certainly it was a photographer's dream. And was worth the visit.

Thank traveltwotoo
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We found this to be an interesting building in spite of it's semi ruinous state but not really much to see although you can climb to the top of the tower. The ticket also gives you access to the Earls's palace across the road. There...More

Thank MurielA47
Reviewed 22 May 2017

This is a ruin worth stopping and looking at. It is a bit difficult to get to, but that is what makes it worthwhile. No crowds and just an interesting piece of history that connects with other places in Kirkwell.

Thank Maggie5698
Reviewed 21 May 2017 via mobile

The building has a genuine Viking history altered and extended over 500 years and at one stage part of a larger complex including the Earls Palace. Just a shell now but the views from the top of the Reid Tower are great over Kirkwall and...More

Thank Alastair W
Reviewed 28 April 2017

There isn't all that much to see here but it can form an add on to your visit across the road. The story is interesting but it really only needs a casual stroll from one end to the other. Avoid getting jammed in by package...More

Thank Vandieman111
Reviewed 31 March 2017

A quirky part of Kirkwall history happened here, and has the magnificent architecture to prove it. Great signage on site.

Thank Nunya-from-NS
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