Starlings is a family run business which trades alongside our sister store W Hourston Jewellers in the centre of Kirkwall, Orkney. We, Tom & Aly MacPhail, are delighted & very proud that Starlings has evolved to become such a popular one stop shopping destination in Kirkwall loved by both locals & tourists alike. Our son Steven joined the company in 2018 and together as a family, we enjoy sourcing Local, Scottish & UK companies for our clothing, lifestyle & jewellery stores. We reward customer loyalty, essential in a small island community. Our Company Loyalty Card Scheme began in 2011 & now has over 5,000 loyalty card holders. Each customer as important as the next.

We became the owners of 57 Albert Street in 1999 when Starlings was known as Christine Clarkes. We rebranded, extended, refurbished & relaunched as Starlings in 2014. The name ‘Starlings’ was chosen as the people of Kirkwall parish were traditionally known collectively as Starlings/Stirlings.

Read on to gain a little more detail on Starlings History

In 1676 the double tenement house situated directly behind Starlings was built.

In 1676 the double tenement house situated directly behind Starlings was built.

In 1760 Robert Laing bought this double tenement home and in 1762 his son, Malcolm Laing, one of Orkneys most distinguished sons was born. Malcolm Laing, the historian, is famous for writing the History of Scotland books.

In 1805 the house was sold to Sheriff Nicolson then Robert Baikie of Tankerness followed by the Heddles of Melsetter. But it was when T.H Sclater, a chemist, purchased the house that the row of one storey shops was built – one of which is Clarkes Gift shop today. As the house is set back off the street Sclater decided to build the row of one storey shops in front of his house in order to lease the shops and use the lease money to pay the annual fee of £60 in payment for the house.

In the mid 1800’s it was where our sister store W Hourston Jewellers originally traded from before moving to 34 Albert Street

In 1927 It was James McDonald & Co Family Butcher

In the 1970’s it was the Model and Business Equipment Shop owned by Ron Spears & Albert Reid, followed by the Walshes who also used the premises as a Business Equipment Shop

In 1982 Howard and Christine Clarke established “Christine Clarkes Antiques & Gift Shop”

In 1999  We purchased Christine Clarkes increasing the number of giftlines, jewellery brands , clothing companies and handbags.

2014 Starlings was launched as we completely refurbished, rebranded and extended!