Traces Of Viking Ivar the Boneless’ Dynasty At Waterford, Ireland

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Viking landing at Dublin, 841, by James Ward (1851-1924) (Public Domain)

Traces Of Viking Ivar the Boneless’ Dynasty At Waterford, Ireland

County WexfordThe first Viking raids recorded in Ireland date to 795 AD, and then they rapidly appear in the historic record. Traditionally the early Viking activity in Ireland falls into three phases, the first being a period of lightning hit-and-run raids which took place from the 790’s until the 820’s. This was followed by a phase of intensive Viking campaigning in the area dating to the 830’s when the Annals first begin to mention the presence of Viking bases known as longphorts - literally ship ports.  This phase then ends in 902 when the Ui Imar (the Viking Dynasty founded by Ivar the Boneless) is expelled from Dublin, and many of the longphorts are thought to have been destroyed by Irish kings at this time. This then leads to a period during which more permanent Viking bases were established.

The quay at Waterford c. 1890–1900 (Public Domain)

Viking Presence in Waterford

The Irish city of Waterford lies in Co Waterford on the southeastern shore of Ireland in the province of Munster, on the river Suir at the point where it meets the Irish Sea. Waterford is the oldest city in Ireland and once bore the Norse name Veorafjoror, which means “ram fjord” for this earliest settlement was a Viking one. Over the past 50 years archaeology has revealed that Viking Waterford was focused on two areas. The first being the more widely known Viking Triangle located at the center of the modern city, the second being the earlier settlement harbor of Woodstown, six kilometers (3.7 miles) away. This was a longphort, a harbor and winter base, that only came to light during archaeological work undertaken in 2003 ahead of a road building project.


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