Tuesday, January 08, 2008

New page about the Viking terror around the Highlands

Lots of interesting stories about the Vikings in West Scotland - from 790 odd until 1263.

Where can you see Vikings to-day? - well, try all the clansmen originating in the Isles and on the West Coast. They are mostly Vikings according to their DNA . On the Islands probably more Viking than Scots.

Inland, not so much.

Initially they were just money grubbing thieving pirates. Aiming at the churches - particularly Iona, but also the Bishpric in Lismore near us, they were after the jewels and valuables. They sold them on in markets around the world.

If there was no church, then they hit the settlements aiming for women and young men to hold as slaves. They sold the slaves initially in the Orkneys and from there they traded them to the East and Middle East. Slaves meant good money. Slaves were traded in the same way as animals, in markets.

Around the 9th century they had another trick. The Scots had stopped building churches, and certainly kept no valuables in them. Vikings had a lot of internal battles in their homelands, and saw the land of the Scots as offering a better living better. A bit like our own people emigrating to Canada, the USA, South Africa, the Vikings thought why don't we offer the locals a deal?

We'll offer to protect the settlements from these terrible invaders so long as they give us land in exchange and some financial help. Sounds like a good deal. And if the locals don't agree? Well, we'll kill them anyway and behead the chiefs and burn the houses to make the next lot agree.

I believe that Glencoe, and Loch Leven started to feature in their plans around the 10th century. There had been many raids on Lismore. Mull, Morven and Sktye were colonised already.

There are Viking signs in Glencoe, no signs of settlements, just graves and legends about a huge battle in Glencoe, plus a Saga story about a Viking Prince. But no Viking place names, meaning no long term settlements.

That's it then. They were probably defeated in Glencoe, around the 12th century and their decline began.

How? Well, you'll have to read the web site to find out. It is a good story. Not really told properly, in context, before.
  • The Vikings in Scotland, the Terror, the Battles, Vikings in Glencoe

  • John
    ps We have availability for short breaks from January to the end of March but no dates in April are left. Our availability tables on the website are always kept up to date, by the way.

    pps. If you want a jazz band to play at your daughter's wedding, just click on the site below. Oh what the hell, in this life if you don't ask you don't get. So its a long shot.

  • Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland. The main site

  • Winter breaks January February March in Glencoe

  • Spring breaks, March April May Glencoe

  • Help for holiday home owners for their Web sites

  • Scotland how to find your ideal holiday property

  • last minute, self catering holiday breaks scotland

  • excellent Scottish holiday properties offering short breaks and special prices

  • Virtual tour of the cottage near Glencoe

  • Some other sites I run for folks interested in playing jazz.

    Blog site for Jazz players in the South of England
    Busy site, packed with music information for jazz players
    The Smugglers Jazz band for weddings and functions in the South of England
    The weekly Jazz workshop for players and amateurs
    Lochside cottage near Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland
  • Short Breaks Glencoe
  • Stories about Appin villages blog