Travel reminiscences of our wonderful holiday in Ireland 2009
When we first came across the Dublinia on the second day of our arrival in Ireland, I hadn’t realised how much the Viking raiders played a part in Ireland’s history way, way back. I didn’t know that the Vikings arrived in Ireland in the late 8th century and founded Dublin in 841!! ‘ They built a fort where the River Poddle met the Liffey at a black pool on the site of Dublin Castle (which we saw the previous day). They also established a settlement along the banks of the Liffey at Wood Quay (which has undergone excavations revealing the remains of one of the earliest Viking villages in Ireland).
Following their defeat by Brian Ború at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014, the Vikings integrated fully with the local Irish, adopting Christian beliefs. After Strongbow’s Anglo-Norman invasion in 1170, the flourishing Hiberno-Viking trading community declined, and many were banished to a separate colony called Oxmanstown, just north of the river.’
The Dublinia exhibition covers this period (above) to the closure of the monasteries in the 1540’s and is housed in the Neo-Gothic Synod Hall, which up until 1983, was home to the ruling body of the Church of Ireland ..
I’m glad we went through the exhibition, especially as this was our first full day in Dublin with our self-drive tour still to come. Touring Ireland, you come across many links to the Vikings, which I wouldn’t have understood if we hadn’t been here first.
I will do Christ Church Cathedral as a separate post, even though the Dublinia is linked to the Cathedral by a covered arched bridge