Historic Scotland

Opening times

Open year-round.

 

Overview

The Orkneyinga Saga records that a Norwegian named Kolbein Hruga built "a fine stone castle" on the island of Wyre in 1145.

The ruin we see today has been identified as the castle described in the saga, and 'Roo' is probably a corruption of 'Kolbein Hruga'.

The small church of St Mary’s Chapel was built a short time later in the 1100s, by the lord of Cubbie Roo’s Castle – possibly Kolbein Hruga’s son Bjarni. Both are in a ruined state in the tranquil setting of the Orcadian island of Wyre.