Two magnificent ruins.
The Bishops Palace is the older of these two adjacent historic sites, parts of which date back to 12th century, the same period as the nearby St Magnus Cathedral. It is also built of similar stone, and boasts an impressive circular tower. The Earls palace is later, built for the infamous tyrant Patrick, Earl of Orkney in the early 17th century. The building is also in ruins, but its splendid, elegant architecture and the grandeur of its design can still be appreciated. Both buildings are now maintained by Historic Scotland, who maintain an exhibition on the colourful history of the palaces.