Castles in Shetland and Orkney
The remains of a 12th-century castle stand on this islet, linked to the shore by a causeway. The ruin measures approximately 5.5 by 6.5 metres (18 by 21 ft).
The northernmost castle in the British Isles, Muness has remarkably fine architectural details.
Built by the Chamberlain of Shetland in 1598, destroyed by French pirates in 1627, abandoned in the late 18th century, and now a roofless ruin.
Scalloway Castle. A fine castellated mansion built in 1600 by Patrick Stewart, Earl of Orkney, who was notorious for his. Black Patie’s palace.
Vaila Tower or Mucklaberry Tower
This small, two-storey tower is said to have been a watch tower, built in the early 19th century by the laird of Vaila House to oversee smuggling operations. The tower was rebuilt around 1900 as a gothic folly. Category B listed building
Balfour Castle dominates the south west end of the island of Shapinsay, standing proudly in front of a belt of woodland close to the shore, it’s location is so prominent that it is clearly visible from the top of the tower of St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall.
Balfour Castle dates back to 1782 when Thomas Balfour purchased the estate of Sound, and had a house called Cliffdale built on it. In 1846 the estate passed to his grandson, David Balfour. The following year David Balfour engaged the Edinburgh architect David Bryce, and the building of Balfour Castle began. It was finished in 1848.
Much of the original house still exists within the structure of the castle, but Bryce sandwiched it between a service wing to the north and the imposing three story (plus towers, turrets etc) stack of public rooms now forming the south side of the castle overlooking the sea.
Bishop’s Palace which was built in the mid-12th century for Bishop William the Old, near the St Magnus Cathedral.
The Bishop’s Palace is the older of the two ruined palaces found in the centre of Kirkwall.
Hailed as “the finest example of French Renaissance architecture in Scotland”, the Earl’s Palace is undoubtedly a piece of splendid architectural brilliance.