Kirkwall

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Template:GBdot Kirkwall is the largest town and capital of the Orkney Islands, in northern Scotland. The town is first mentioned in the Orkneyinga saga in the year 1046. It was the settlement of Rognvald II, Earl of Orkney, who was killed by his successor, Thorfinn. In 1486 King James III of Scotland elevated Kirkwall to the status of a Royal Burgh. The name "Kirkwall" is derived from the norse name "Kirkjuvagr" meaning "Church bay", this was later corrupted into "Kirkvoe" and then "Kirkwaa". English cartographers mistook the latter part "waa" as the Scots wa', meaning wall, hence the name of the town became "Kirkwall".

Situated on the northern coast of Mainland Orkney, it is a port with ferry services to most of the other islands in the group. By present-day Scottish standards, it is a very small town, with a population of about 7,000. At the heart of the town stands St Magnus Cathedral which can be seen from some distance away. It was founded in memory of Saint Magnus, earl of Orkney from 1108 to 1117. Next to the cathedral are the ruins of the former bishop's palace and earl's palace. The town has two museums, one containing items of local historical interest and the other being the small "Wireless Museum", dealing with the history of radio and recorded sound.

One of the main events in the town is the Ba Game, held each Christmas Day and New Year's Day between the Uppies and the Doonies; each team representing one half of the town.da:Kirkwall de:Kirkwall nl:Kirkwall

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