Orkney Museum

Orkney Museum
c/o Broad Street
Orkney Islands
KW15 1DH




01856 3191


01856 874615

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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.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Summer Opening (1st May to 30th September)
Monday – Saturday, from 10.30 – 17.00
Winter Opening (1st October – 30th April)
Monday – Saturday, from 10.30 – 12.30 and 13.30 – 17.00.

Admission charges


Collection details

Archaeology, Archives, Costume and Textiles, Fine Art, Social History, Weapons and War

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Discover the Archaeology and Crafts of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney

  • 16 May 2015 10am-12pm

Life on Orkney may not be that different from our Neolithic ancestors when it comes to farming and building a home (though we don't think too many of you will be spearing your own tea!). But without a Jewsons or a Taits to pick up your tools, how did they even get started? Our boys in the know, archaeologists Chris Gee and Hugo Anderson-Whymark will be providing the DIY know-how with a Neolithic tool-making workshop and a demonstration in the art of flint knapping.
And we'll continue with the hands-on approach with a chance to handle items from the Historic Scotland Rangers' handling collection. Our highly approachable Rangers will be talking about the archaeology and landscape surrounding Orkney’s World Heritage Site, including Skara Brae, Maeshowe, the Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar. If you've always had a niggling question about any of the history around you, feel free to test the Rangers!
Wrap up the day with a splurge of pottery making, learn how our ancestors made their own paint, and make your own Neolithic pot!

Suitable for