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“Must see”

The Bishop's Palace
Book In Advance
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$40.90*
and up
Historic Scotland Explorer Pass
Ranked #9 of 26 things to do in Kirkwall
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
Merthyr Tydfil
Level Contributor
334 reviews
259 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 231 helpful votes
“Must see”
Reviewed August 30, 2012

Built in the mid 12th century at the same time as St. Magnus Cathedral. King Hakon IV of Norway died here in 1263. Well worth a visit just across the road from the Earl's Palace and opposite St. Magnus Cathedral. I love these old buildings and their wonderful history - enjoy.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Rainbirds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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175 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Carlisle, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
72 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Small ruin”
Reviewed August 18, 2012

Another good place for kids to explore. Full of history and great views, entrance is included in the price of the earls palace.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank lhershon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Atmospheric even on a damp day”
Reviewed August 15, 2012

With good views of St Magnus cathedral and Kirkwall if you go to the top. It was damp and misty when we were there, but that made it feel quite special.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Joan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shropshire,UK
Level Contributor
89 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Good view”
Reviewed August 14, 2012

Fairly average set of ruins aopart from the climb up to the top which gives a great view over Kirkwall (if the fog isn't around!)

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank LFHbod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England, Arkansas
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Fascinating old ruin”
Reviewed July 28, 2012

Fascinating old ruin I may be but I finally, having passed by many times, paid a visit to the Bishops Palace. If you like historical buildings this definitely is one. Well worth a look but be aware there are some tricky steps and open floors. Anyone with infirmities or fear of heights may be a little uncomfortable.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
Thank mobiwan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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