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The Bishop's Palace

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

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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Great views

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.

Reviewed 28 August 2016
via mobile
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172 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 154: English reviews
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 28 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.

Thank Connie R
Level Contributor
88 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
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.

Thank chipmunk3
Romsey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
53 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2016

This is no way as interesting as The Earl's Palace but as it is included in the Earl's Palace entrance fee it is worth visiting first. You are able to imagine what the Palace was like and there are information boards with drawings to help. 10 to 15 minutes is probably enough then head to the (not to missed) Earl's... More 

Thank looe97
North London
Level Contributor
365 reviews
195 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 227 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 August 2016 via mobile

As old ruins go this is a good one. It's in a fab location. The cellars are fantastic. The rooms are well documented so you get a sense of what life might have been like all that time ago. We bought a discounted Scottish Heritage type ticket which is well worth the money if you're visiting a few sites

Thank the_finchley_lees
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
925 reviews
301 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 August 2016

Ruin with many walls intact. You can make out the floors and the fireplaces, outside the city has worked hard to kept buildings together. Behind the ruins are the city law courts. Lady in the ticket booth is very helpful with brochures. No toilets. Lovely lawn and benches.

Thank tiredandtravelled
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
65 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 August 2016

Like Earl's Palace, it is roofless, but the castle type complex is impressive--a magnificent hall with fireplace, round tower, and exterior walls. We climbed to the top, hanging on to ropes to get a breathtaking panoramic view of Kirkwall.

Thank Lena G
Coventry, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
792 reviews
542 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 323 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 August 2016

If you are in Kirkwall ,it is nearby the Cathedral.The Bishops Palace is a historical ruin .Thought the entry price was too expensive so viewed from the road.

Thank Mary38677
glasgow, scotland
Level Contributor
66 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 August 2016

The bishops palace is opposite the Cathedral, it's a ruin but quite interesting I spent half an hour going round. It's possible to climb up to the battlements which gives a great view of Kirkwall.

Thank LJC1
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2016

Like the Earl's Palace next door, this is a ruin you are able to explore at your leisure. It's considerably smaller than the Earl's Palace but it does have the advantage of some fantastic views across Kirkwall from the top of the tower. It shares a entrance ticket with the Earl's Palace and, as with that ruin, I'm not entirely... More 

Thank Tom M
South Brunswick, New Jersey
Level Contributor
316 reviews
174 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2016

I enjoyed this although I liked the Earl's palace more since it was more ornate and larger. Good signage so it was easy to see what each room was like. Since the Earl's palace and Bishop's palace were next to each other, it's worth a look. Be sure and climb the stairs to get good views of the town. I... More 

Thank Diane K

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