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Historic Attractions in Orkney Islands

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Brough of Birsay Lighthouse © Copyright Ian Cowe
Brough of Birsay Lighthouse

Scotland, UK

This unusual lighthouse with its castellated tower was built in 1925. It is now solar powered. The tidal Island once had a...

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  • Noltland Castle © Crown Copyright Historic Scotland. www.historicscotlandimages.gov.uk
    Noltland Castle (HS)

    Near Pierowall, Westray, Orkney, KW17

    A fine, ruined Z-plan tower, built between 1560 and 1573 but never completed. Remarkable for its large number of gun loops.

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  • Cuween Hill Chambered Cairn © Crown Copyright Historic Scotland. www.historicscotlandimages.gov.uk
    Cuween Hill Chambered Cairn (HS)

    Finstown, Orkney, Scotland, UK

    A low mound covering a Neolithic chambered tomb with four cells. Contained the bones of men, dogs and oxen when discovered.

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  • Brough of Birsay © Crown Copyright Historic Scotland. www.historicscotlandimages.gov.uk
    Brough of Birsay (HS)

    Birsay, Orkney, Scotland, UK

    On this island, easily accessible at low tide, there was once a major Pictish and Viking settlement. The ruins of a 12th…

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  • Quoyness Chambered Cairn © Crown Copyright Historic Scotland. www.historicscotlandimages.gov.uk
    Quoyness Chambered Cairn (HS)

    Sanday, Orkney, Scotland, UK

    A megalithic tomb with triple retaining walls, containing a passage and main chamber, with six subsiduary cells.

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  • St Magnus Church © Crown Copyright Historic Scotland. www.historicscotlandimages.gov.uk
    St Magnus Church (HS)

    Egilsay, Orkney, Scotland, UK

    The complete but roofless ruin of a 12th century church with a round tower, situated on the site where St Magnus was…

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  • Unstan Chambered Cairn © Crown Copyright Historic Scotland. www.historicscotlandimages.gov.uk
    Unstan Chambered Cairn (HS)

    Stromness, Orkney, KW17

    A mound covering a stone burial chamber divided by slabs into five compartments. Of Neolithic date. Access to chamber.

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  • Knap O' Hower © Crown Copyright Historic Scotland. www.historicscotlandimages.gov.uk
    Knap o' Howar (HS)

    Papa Westray, Orkney, Scotland, UK

    Probably the oldest standing stone houses in Europe, dating from the early Neolithic period.

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  • Wideford Hill Chambered Cairn (HS)
    Wideford Hill Chambered Cairn (HS)

    Kirkwall, Orkney, KW17

    A fine Neolithic chambered cairn with three concentric walls and a burial chamber with three large cells.

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  • Rennibister Earth House    (HS)
    Rennibister Earth House (HS)

    Kirkwall, Orkney, Scotland, UK

    A good example of an Orkney earth house or underground storage vault. Dates from around 400BC. Access by ladder.

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  • Earl's Palace (Birsay) (HS)
    Earl's Palace (Birsay) (HS)

    Mainland, Birsay, Orkney, KW17 2

    The gaunt remains of the residence of Robert Stewart, Earl of Orkney, constructed in the late 16th century round a courtyard.

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  • Knowe of Yarso Chambered Cairn © Crown Copyright Historic Scotland. www.historicscotlandimages.gov.uk
    Knowe of Yarso Chambered Cairn (HS)

    Rousay, Orkney, Scotland, UK

    An oval cairn with concentric walls enclosing a Neolithic chambered tomb divided into three compartments. Access to chamber.

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  • St Mary's Chapel (HS)
    St Mary's Chapel (HS)

    Isle of Wyre, Orkney, Scotland, UK

    This simple 12th century building was once the chapel of a Christian Norse family.

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  • Stones of Stenness (HS)
    Stones of Stenness (HS)

    Stromness, Orkney, KW17

    The remains of a stone circle around a hearth, surrounded by a circular earthen bank or henge.

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  • Tormiston Mill (HS)
    Tormiston Mill (HS)

    Stenness, Stromness, Orkney, KW16 3HH

    An excellent late example of a Scottish watermill, circa 1880, with a 4 metre diameter iron water wheel driving three...

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  • 1 Brough of Birsay Lighthouse Scotland, UK
    2 Noltland Castle (HS) Near Pierowall, Westray, Orkney, KW17
    3 Cuween Hill Chambered Cairn (HS) Finstown, Orkney, Scotland, UK
    4 Brough of Birsay (HS) Birsay, Orkney, Scotland, UK
    5 Quoyness Chambered Cairn (HS) Sanday, Orkney, Scotland, UK
    6 St Magnus Church (HS) Egilsay, Orkney, Scotland, UK
    7 Unstan Chambered Cairn (HS) Stromness, Orkney, KW17
    8 Knap o' Howar (HS) Papa Westray, Orkney, Scotland, UK
    9 Wideford Hill Chambered Cairn (HS) Kirkwall, Orkney, KW17
    10 Rennibister Earth House (HS) Kirkwall, Orkney, Scotland, UK
    11 Earl's Palace (Birsay) (HS) Mainland, Birsay, Orkney, KW17 2
    12 Knowe of Yarso Chambered Cairn (HS) Rousay, Orkney, Scotland, UK
    13 St Mary's Chapel (HS) Isle of Wyre, Orkney, Scotland, UK
    14 Stones of Stenness (HS) Stromness, Orkney, KW17
    15 Tormiston Mill (HS) Stenness, Stromness, Orkney, KW16 3HH

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