The Earl"s Palace is a ruined 16th-century castle. It was built by Robert Stewart, 1st Earl of Orkney (1533–1593), illegitimate son of King James V and his mistress Euphemia Elphinstone.

The castle was constructed in two phases. The first phase of work, begun in the 1570s, consisted of the great hall located in the south range, above the main door. Beside this was Lord Orkney"s private chamber in the south-east corner tower. An inscription above the entrance, dated 1574, marks this phase. The second phase, completed in the 1580s, saw a new range containing a great hall and chamber built on the north side of the courtyard. The second phase probably followed Robert"s acquisition of the Earldom of Orkney in 1581. After the death of Robert Stewart, the palace was used only occasionally by later earls of Orkney, and was not occupied after the mid-17th century. By 1701 the palace had begun to deteriorate badly.

The two-storey palace was constructed around a central courtyard and well, with large stone towers at three of the four corners. It was as much a fortress as a residence. Only the palace"s upper floors had large windows; the accessible ground floors were equipped with small openings and an array of gun-holes, from which musketeers could cover every side of the building.

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Founded: 1570s
Category: Ruins in United Kingdom

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

wayne derrick (4 months ago)
Uninspiring, nothing to see, just a load of stones dumped.
Melanie Moss (4 months ago)
Sizeable ruins of the Earl's Palace with information boards scattered around to explain who lived here and how they went about their lives. Free entry.
Marc William Moffatt (4 months ago)
Lovely little village. The Earls Palace has an interesting history. Farm next do sells home made cakes and chocolates. Just up the road is a cafe with views, only open Fri sat and Sunday at the moment montpellier worth the trip
Crazysurfkidd (5 months ago)
Interesting (and free. Honesty box nearby). Only warrants a short stay c.15 minutes.
Michael Raney (5 months ago)
Small, ruined manor house with beautiful views across the fields and sea. A few information boards to give you a bit of background knowledge about the place. Small shop nearby that sells takeaway coffee and St Magnus' Church is next door as well
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