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The Bishop's Palace

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Address: Palace Rd., Kirkwall KW15 1PD, Scotland
Phone Number: 01856 871 918
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Description:

Step inside the spectacular ruins of two remarkable residences at the heart...

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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US$38.56*
and up
Historic Scotland Explorer Pass
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 171 reviews
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  • 47
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Small but really cool

This small ruin is across from the earl's palace and though much smaller, has more character. Not a lot to see and you can do it in about 30 minutes and feel complete. If you are... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 23 October 2016
Nappen
,
Stuttgart, Germany
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171 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 153: English reviews
Stuttgart, Germany
Level Contributor
116 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 October 2016

This small ruin is across from the earl's palace and though much smaller, has more character. Not a lot to see and you can do it in about 30 minutes and feel complete. If you are in Kirkwall, you need to just go ahead and take a look.

Helpful?
Thank Nappen
Irvine, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 September 2016

Thoroughly enjoyed visiting these Historic Scotland sites. Able to get in, explore, climb etc. Friendly helpful service in the shop.

Helpful?
Thank hilarycaledonia
Cornwall
Level Contributor
114 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 September 2016

The Bishop's and Earl's palaces are adjacent and entered on a single ticket. They shed an interesting light on a very unsavoury period of the history of Orkney. The Bishop's palace is the older of the two but when the Earl's palace was constructed they were effectively combined into the same complex. As historical buildings they are well worth a... More 

Helpful?
Thank fhdCornwall
York
Level Contributor
208 reviews
74 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 196 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 September 2016

A joint entry ticket with the Bishops Palce and free entry to the Cathedral and St Magnus Centre combine to give a great historic overview of Kirkwall and the whole of Orkney . A must visit.

Helpful?
Thank Tourman2
Tain, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 September 2016 via mobile

The architecture isn't quite as amazing as the Earls Palace, but if you can brave the climb to the top there are fantastic views to be had, in particular the cathedral

Helpful?
Thank Duncankotlewski
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
1,226 reviews
792 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 593 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 September 2016

Built around the same time as St Magnus’s Cathedral, in the early 12th century, the Bishop's Palace is a must see when in Kirkwall. Interesting architecture and great views abound.

Helpful?
Thank Bruce H
Issaquah, Washington
Level Contributor
102 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 September 2016

We spent over an hour wandering through the rooms and floors. Great views of Kirkwall from the top floor.

Helpful?
Thank Sand_Dollars_11
Stockport, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
389 reviews
261 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 September 2016

Not as good as the Earl's Palace across the road, but worth a visit, it must have been a fantastic place in its day, you can climb to the third floor for some good views.

Helpful?
Thank Charles G
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 August 2016 via mobile

The Bishops palace, right next to the Earl's palace, has very entering ashes, let's you climb up to the top, which has a good view.

Helpful?
Thank Connie R
Level Contributor
88 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 August 2016 via mobile

Definitely worth a combined trip with the eagle palace next door and the cathedral over the road. Great view from the tower across kirkwall even on a wet day.

Helpful?
Thank chipmunk3

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