Kirkwall History & Heritage

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About this app

Kirkwall is the capital of the Orkney Islands, an archipelago of 19 inhabited islands lying off the north coast of Scotland. The app is a guide to the history and heritage of the town, highlighting over 70 places of interest and including fascinating historical details, archive images, video and audio clips, maps and walking trails.

The interactive maps will help you explore Kirkwall’s fascinating past, from the Viking Age when the Norse Earls ruled Orkney and built St Magnus Cathedral to the Stewart dynasty, when Earl Patrick Stewart built one of Scotland’s finest 17th century renaissance palaces in the heart of the town.

Find out about the development of Kirkwall harbour, an important trading port linking Scandinavia, the Baltic and Northern Europe to the North Atlantic, Arctic and America. Wealthy merchants who grew rich on this trade built fine stone houses during the 17th and 18th centuries which give Kirkwall much of its character today. Learn about the people who have shaped the history of Kirkwall and Orkney over the centuries, and the origins of local traditions including the Kirkwall Ba’ game played annually in the town’s streets.


Walking trails:
Highlights - a short town centre trail
Explore - a varied walk through the historic streets
Perspectives - a longer walk which takes in views of the town from higher ground
Peedie Folk - 2 trails designed for children (aged 8 - 12 years)
‘Check in’ feature : collect a ‘badge’ for each place you visit
Accessibility settings: change colours/fonts, enlarge text
Brief welcome in 6 languages

Peedie Folk: designed for children (under 12) accompanied by one or more adults, the children’s trails are led by a character called Erlend, created by the children of a local primary school. He guides you around the town telling stories about the history as you go, and highlighting features to look out for on your walk.

The app is a fun way to explore Kirkwall’s capital and to find out about its rich and fascinating past.
Updated on
21 Jun 2019

Data safety

Safety starts with understanding how developers collect and share your data. Data privacy and security practices may vary based on your use, region and age The developer provided this information and may update it over time.
This app may share these data types with third parties
App activity, App info and performance and Device or other IDs
No data collected
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Data is encrypted in transit
Data can’t be deleted

What's new

Content updater improvements