Baron Longford Baron Annaly - Feudal Barons

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Viking Ireland - The Norse Invasions and Longforts 

The name Longford is an Anglicization of the Irish  Longphort  , from  long  (meaning "ship") and  port  (meaning "port" or "dock"). This name was applied to many Irish settlements of Viking origin and eventually came to mean fort or camp in the Irish language, and so  Longfort  the modern Irish spelling, is the name of this town, which was one of the only Gaelic Irish market towns to arise without first being founded by Vikings or Normans.

Viking Ireland

The Vikings pillaged monasteries on Ireland's west coast in 795, and then spread out to cover the rest of the coastline. The north and east of the island were most affected. During the first 40 years, the raids were conducted by small, mobile Viking groups. By 830, the groups consisted of large fleets of Viking ships. From 840, the Vikings began establishing permanent bases at the coasts. Dublin was the most significant settlement in the long term. The Irish became accustomed to the Viking presence. In some cases, they became allies and married each other.


In 832, a Viking fleet of about 120 invaded kingdoms on Ireland's northern and eastern coasts. Some believe that the increased number of invaders coincided with Scandinavian leaders' desires to control the profitable raids on the western shores of Ireland. During the mid-830s, raids began to push deeper into Ireland, as opposed to just touching the coasts. Navigable waterways made this deeper penetration possible. After 840, the Vikings had several bases in strategic locations dispersed throughout Ireland.

In 838, a small Viking fleet entered the River Liffey in eastern Ireland. The Vikings set up a base, which the Irish called a longphort. This longphort eventually became Dublin. After this interaction, the Irish experienced Viking forces for about 40 years. The Vikings also established longphorts in Cork, Limerick, Waterford, and Wexford. The Vikings could sail through on the main river and branch off into different areas of the country.


Norwegian Vikings and other Scandinavians conducted extensive raids in Ireland. They founded Limerick in 812, then established Waterford in 853, founded the only Viking capital city in the world outside the Nordic countries in Dublin, and founded trading ports in Cork in the 9th century. Predominantly Norwegians, and to a smaller extent other Scandinavians, settled down and intermixed with the Irish. Literature, crafts, and decorative styles in Ireland and Britain reflected West Norse culture. Vikings traded at Irish markets in Dublin and solidified Dublin as an important city. Excavations found imported fabrics from England, Byzantium, Persia, and central Asia. Dublin became so crowded by the 11th century that houses were constructed outside the town walls.


One of the last major battles involving Vikings was the Battle of Clontarf on 23 April 1014, in which Vikings fought both for the Irish over-king Brian Boru's army and for the Viking-led army opposing him. Irish and Viking literature depict the Battle of Clontarf as a gathering of this world and the supernatural, including witches, goblins, and demons. A Viking poem portrays the environment as strongly pagan, with chanting Valkyries deciding who would live and who would die.

Rollo was a Viking leader and invader who was created the first Duke of Normandy  Rollo or Gaange Rolf; (Norman: Rou; Old Norse: Hrólfr; French: Rollon; c. 846 – c. 930 AD) was a Viking who became the first ruler of Normandy, a major region of France which includes the Channel Islands.

Rollo was initially the conquerer and Chief of all Normandy and Islands, but by the so calledRollo treaty of St Clair-sur-Epte in 911,  the Frankish king was merely confirming ownership of the land around the mouth of the Seine between Rouen and Lisieux to Rollow and his band of viking settlers in return for peace and an instant conversion to Christianity. The leader of this band was called Hrolf Gangr, who went down in history under the more familiar name of Rollo the Viking. As the land was already controlled by viking settlers and had been for at least 50 years Charles was not losing anything and was in fact gaining a "buffer state" across the mouth of the Seine, he had in effect turned the "poachers into gamekeepers".