The Orkney Museum

Image of the entrance to the Orkney Museum.

The Orkney Museum tells the story of Orkney, from the Stone Age, to the Picts and Vikings, right through to the present day. There is a large collection of old photos and activities to amuse younger visitors. The Museum’s collection is of international importance and it has a changing temporary exhibition programme.

The Orkney Museum used to be a house – Tankerness House. For three centuries this house was the home of the Baikie family of Tankerness, whose estate gave the house its name. It opened as a museum in 1968 and is an A-listed building. The Baikie Library and Drawing Room gives the visitor an idea of how the house looked when it was a family home.

The North and South wings of the house were originally manses for the Cathedral clergy. After the reformation they were bought by Gilbert Foulzie, the first Protestant minister, who in 1574 built the arched gateway that bears his coat of arms.


The Orkney Museum, Tankerness House, Broad Street, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1DH.


01856873535 (extension 2523) or 01856873191.

Opening Times

Summer Opening - 1 May to 30 September

Monday - Saturday, from 10.30 - 17.00.

Winter Opening - 1 October - 30 April

Monday - Saturday, from 10.30 - 12.30 and 13.30 - 17.00.

Museum is closed for lunch - 12.30 - 13.30.


Facility is free of charge.

Disabled Access

Disabled access is available from Tankerness Garden. There are 2 single stair lifts in the museum. Access to the 19 and 20 galleries can be facilitated from Broad Street if museum staff are contacted either in person or by phoning 01856873191.

Orkney Museum: Accessibility Information can be accessed in PDF format from the 'Related Downloads' section of this page.

Related Downloads

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535


Orkney Islands Council: BOREAS DOMUS MARE AMICUS