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MacSuibhne's Feast showing a chief, his wife and retinue being entertained by a poet to harp accompaniment

Poets: The Curries

Who were the Curries? In the Scottish Highlands, people could make an excellent from composing poetry in Gaelic. The Currie dynasty of poets were the best. Many have said they’re not familiar with that surname at all. Curries are from…

Viking ships in a 12th century manuscript

Origins of the Vikings

Were the Vikings the worst plunderers of churches? Were they the axe-wielding murderers of innocent monks? Along with all that, they are remembered for their extortion, abductions and battles in the annals, that is in annals written by several monasteries…

A Viking Ship with the Tjald by Nicholas Roerich

Viking Age Britain 800-1100

‘From the fury of the Northmen, Oh Lord, deliver us.’ The Vikings (aka Northmen) burst on the scene in Britain in the late 8th century. In 793 the ‘heathen destroyed God’s church on Lindisfarne by rapine and slaughter’. In that year ‘immense…

A Viking Ship with the Tjald by Nicholas Roerich

Vikings: Lawless or Law-Abiding?

Believe it or not, the Vikings, that is, the Norse, were very law-abiding. Norse law was customary, handed down orally from one generation to the next. Changes were discussed and the law was recited at a Thing or assembly. If there…

Duffus Castle: A Little Subsidence Problem

Duffus Castle: A Little Subsidence Problem

A few castles existed in Britain before the Norman Conquest (1066) such as Ewyas Harold in Herefordshire) and Clavering in Essex, built by Norman favourites of Edward the Confessor in the last years of the Old English kingdom. The English…