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Places to go in Orkney


Bishop's and Earl's Palaces
In Kirkwall on the A960.
Tel: 01856 875461

The Bishop's Palace is a 12th-century hall-house, later much altered, with a round tower built by Bishop Reid in 1541-48. The notorious Patrick Stewart, Earl of Orkney, built the adjacent Earl's Palace between 1600 and 1607. Joint ticket for all Orkney monuments.
Winter: closed
Bishop's and Earl's Palaces
Blackhammer Chambered Cairn
On the island of Rousay, 5 HY 414 276
A long cairn bounded by a retaining wall, with a chamber divided into seven compartments. Of Neolithic date.
Brough of Birsay
On a tidal island at Birsay, 20 miles north west of Kirkwall, 6 HY 239 285
The ruins of a Norse church of the 12 century and of a Norse village.
Broch of Gurness
At Aikerness, 14m NW of Kirkwall on the A966.
Tel: 0831 579478.

Surrounded by a warren of Iron Age buildings, this broch probably dates to the 1st century AD. Vikings may have built the long house on top of the ruined broch. The grave of a Viking woman was found nearby. Joint ticket for all Orkney monuments.
Winter:closed
Broch of Gurness
Click Mill, Dounby
Near Dounby, 6 HY 325 228
The last surviving horizontal water mill in Orkney, of type well represented in Shetland and Lewis. In working order.
Cubbie Row's Castle and St Mary's Chapel
On the island of Wyre, 6 HY 442 264
The castle is probably one of the earliest stone castles to survive in Scotland, built in about 1145 by the Norseman Kolbein Hruga. It is a small rectangular tower enclosed in a circular ditch. The ruined chapel is of late 12th century date, in Romanesque style.
Cuween Hill Chambered Cairn
About half mile south of Finstown, which is seven miles west north west of Kirkwall, 6 HY 364 128
A low mound covering a Neolithic chambered tomb with four cells. Contained the bones of men, dogs and oxen when discovered.
Dwarfie Stane
Towards the north end of Hoy, 7 HY 244 005
A huge block of sandstone in which a Neolithic burial chamber has been cut.
Earl's Palace, Birsay
In Birsay
The gaunt remains of the residence of Robert Stewart, Earl of Orkney, constructed round a courtyard in the late 16th century.
Eynhallow Church
On the island of Eynhallow, 6 HY 359 289
The ruins of a 12th century church and a group of domestic buildings.
Grain Earth-House
About one mile north west of Kirkwall, 6 HY 442 117
A well built Iron Age earth-house, with underground chamber supported on stone pillars.
Hackness, Martello Tower
At the south east end of Hoy, 7 ND 338 912
One of a pair of towers built between 1813 and 1815 to provide defence against French and American privateers for British convoys assembling in the sound of Longhope. Provided a base for a 25 pounder cannon and its crew.
Holm of Papa Westray Chambered Cairn
On the island of Holm of Papa Westray, 5 HY 509 518
A massive tomb, with a long, narrow chamber divided into three, with 14 beehive cells opening into the walls. There are engravings on the walls.
Knap of Howar
On the island of Papa Westray, 5 HY 483 519
Probably the oldest standing stone houses in north-west Europe, dating from the early Neolithic period. Two houses approximately rectangular, with stone cupboards and stalls. Contemporary with the chambered tombs of Orkney.
Knowe of Yarso Chambered Cairn
On the island of Rousay, 5 HY 404 279
An oval cairn with concentric walls enclosing a chambered tomb divided into three compartments. Of Neolithic date.
Kirkwall Cathedral
Kirkwall
Click here to see larger picture of Kirkwall Cathedral
Maes Howe
9m W of Kirkwall on the A965.
Tel: 01856 761606

This world famous tomb was built in Neolithic times, before 2700 BC. The large mound covers a stone-built passage and a burial chamber with cells in the walls. Runic inscriptions tell of how it was plundered of its treasures by Vikings. Joint ticket for all Orkney monuments. Admission, shop and refreshements at nearby Tormiston Mill.
Maes Howe
Midhowe Broch
On Rousay, 6 HY 371 308
A well preserved broch, with remains of later buildings round it.
Midhowe Chambered Cairn
On the island of Rousay, 6 HY 372 306
A huge and impressive megalithic chambered tomb in an oval mound, with 25 stalls. Of Neolithic date. Now protected by a modern building.
Noltland Castle
On the island of Westray, 5 HY 429 488
A fine ruined Z-plan tower, built between 1560 and 1573 but never completed. Remarkable for its large number of hun loops and impressive staircase.
Orphir, Earl's Bu and Church
Eight miles west south west of Kirkwall, 6 HY 334 043
The Earl's Bu is the name of the foundations of ancient buildings which may be an Earl's palace of the Viking period. The church is of 12th century date, and consists of the chancel and part of the nave of the only medieval round church in Scotland.
Pierowall Church
On the island of Westray, 5 HY 438 487
The ruins of a medieval church with some finely lettered tombstones.
Quoyness Chambered Cairn
On the island of Sanday, 6 HY 677 378
A megalithic tomb with triple retaining walls, containing a passage and main chamber, with six subsiduary cells. Of Neolithic date.
Rennibister Earth-House
About four and a half miles west north west of Kirkwall, 6 HY 397 127
A good example of an Orkney earth-house, like that at Grain.
Ring of Brogar Stone Circle and Henge
About 5 miles north east of Stromness, 6 HY 294 134
A magnificent circle of upright stones with an enclosing ditch spanned by causeways. Of late Neolithic date.
Ring of Brogar Stone Circle and Henge
Church of St Magnus
On the island of Egilsay, 6 HY 466 304
The complete but roofless ruin of a 12th century church with a round tower, dramtically sited.
Skara Brae
19m NW of Kirkwall on the B9056 6 HY 231 188
Tel: 01856 841815

Uncovered by a storm in 1850 Skara Brae is one of the best preserved groups of Stone Age houses in western Europe. The houses contain stone furniture, hearths and drains and present a remarkable picture of life of Neolithic times. Joint ticket for all Orkney monuments.
Skara Brae

Click here to see larger picture of Skara Brae

Stones of Stenness Circle and Henge
About five miled north east of Stromness, 6 HY 306 126
The remains of a stone circle surrounded by remains of a circular earthwork.
Taversoe Tuick Chambered Cairn
On the island of Rousay, 6 HY 426 276
A megalithic chambered mound with two burial chambers, one above the other, Of Neolithic date.
Tormiston Mill
About nine miles west of Kirkwall on the A965
Tel: 01856 761606
An excellent late example of a Scottish watermill. It was probably built in the 1880's. The watershed and most the machinery have been retained. Now forms a reception centre for visitors to Maes Howe.
Unstan Chambered Cairn
Almost three and a half miles north north east of Stromness, 6 HY 283 117
A mound covering a stone burial chamber divided by slabs into five compartments. Of Neolithic date.
Westside Church, Tuquoy
On the island of Westray, 5 HY 455 432
A roofless 12th century Romanesque church
Wideford Hill Chambered Cairn
About two miles west of Kirkwall, 6 HY 409 122
A fine chambered cairn with three concentric walls and a burial chamber with three large cells. Of Neolithic date.

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Orkney Islands | OrkNet


 


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