Cubbie Roo's Castle is the old stronghold of a Norse chieftain, built around 1145.

PLEASE NOTE: Access restrictions are in place as a precautionary measure whilst high level masonry inspections are carried out. Cubbie Roo's Castle and some parts of the nearby chapel graveyard are accessible.

Found in the small and peaceful island of Wyre, the castle provides a reminder that things probably weren't always so quiet around here when the Vikings were present in Orkney.

Cubbie Roo's Castle is one of the oldest examples of its type in Scotland. Built as the base for a Viking named Kolbein Hruga, it's thought the structure could have been three storeys high, commanding strategic views out over Gairsay Sound and the surrounding approaches. The walls are nearly two metres thick and there are ramparts, ditches and stone walls too, highlighting how strong the defences here were.

Perhaps this is why it's thought Kolbein Hruga never had to defend his castle. Historians believe one of his descendants did however survive a long siege at the site around a century after his death. Cubbie Roo's Castle was eventually abandoned for good in the early 16th century.

Its present-day name comes from Orkney folklore fame, derived from a giant in tall tales passed down through the generations.

The castle is a fascinating place to visit, and a real reminder of Orkney's Viking past.