Earl’s Palace Birsay

Submitted by Owen McCafferty on Wed, 2009-11-18

The Earl’s Palace was built in 1574. Robert Stewart was the Earl of Orkney but did not manage to finish the Palace. His son Patrick completed it. There were three towers and a large open courtyard in the centre. There are lots of interpretive signs and information about the Palace throughout the ruin. Entrance is free.

It was originally adjoined by walled garden enclosures, an archery range and a bowling green. This building, along with the Earl’s Palace in Kirkwall, and Scalloway Castle on Shetland (all Historic Scotland), were the main residences of the Stewart Earls of Orkney in the Northern Isles. Standing by the shore of Birsay Bay, and dominating the village, the two-storey palace was constructed around a central courtyard and well, with large stone towers at three of the four corners. It stood by the shore of Birsay Bay, a proud edifice whose cruel owner oppressed the people of Orkney as long as he ruled them.

Information about crossing the causeway to the Broch of Birsay is available in one of the towers. In Birsay village, off the A966. Ample parking on the side of the roadway.

Contact: Earl’s Palace Birsay

Phone: 01856 721205

Read more: http://www.orkneyjar.com/history/earlspalace.htm

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