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Archaeology Notes

Event ID 644329

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Archaeology Notes


HY41SW 11 44978 10772

(HY 4495 1077) Earl's Palace (NR) (In Ruins)

OS 6" map, Orkney, 2nd ed., (1902).

Earl Patrick's Palace stands roofless but otherwise complete. It has been described as 'the most mature and accomplished piece of Renaissance architecture left in Scotland'. Notable features are the great oriel windows, in the French manner. The palace was built by Earl Patrick Stewart between 1600 and 1607, but the full design was never completed.

W D Simpson 1961; 1965; RCAHMS 1946.

As described by W D Simpson 1965 (MoPBW pamphlet).

Visited by OS (NKB) 5 April 1964.

HY 449 108. Two short phases of archaeological fieldwork were undertaken in connection with the construction of a new sales point for the Earl's Palace. Excavation of trenches for services and foundations revealed paths that formed part of an early 19th-century garden in front of the palace ruins. This garden is recorded on a plan of 1836 by James Craig. No medieval or early post-medieval deposits were encountered.

Sponsor: Historic Scotland

M Dalland 1998.

A small scale excavation was undertaken in 1982 to determine the level of the original ground surface to the immediate east of the Palace. The ground level appears to have been at a similar level to the modern day surface. However beneath this 17th century ground level lay well preserved medieval remains. These remains were partially excavated and possibly belong to the previous Bishop's Palace, or 'Palace of Yards'. Finds included a fine Scandinavian - type comb dating from between the 12th - 14th centuries.

Unfortunately, the bulk of the field records were mislaid after the excavation.

S Winlow 2001.

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