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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 Ragnald II, Earl of Orkney, who was killed by his successor, Thorfinn. The town gets its name from the fact that boats used to moor up against the church ("kirk") wall - that church no longer stands.

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 British 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.