“The Vikings are coming, the Vikings are coming!!!”
Just imagine the panic on that day in 832 AD, when the Vikings launched their first hit-and-run raid on the great monastery at Armagh.
The monastery was an easy target, standing proudly on the hill now occupied by the Church of Ireland cathedral. Two more attacked followed that same month and for the next 100 years Armagh was repeatedly plundered by these 'foreigners' as they took prisoners, food, wine and fine metalwork from the city. Vivid accounts of these attacks were recorded by the monks in the 'Annals' - a yearly diary of events and incidents.
You can see one of the most important Viking hoards from the area on display on the ground floor.
It was found over one hundred years ago in the Tynan estate and consists of 5 silver bracelets and a flat strip of metal that was probably going to be made into another bracelet. Before the use of coins, silver (usually hacked into smaller pieces) was a form of currency and was often exchanged for slaves.
There is a school's workshop on the Vikings which looks in particular at the evidence for the Vikings in County Armagh.
(images are the Tynan hoard and Megan taking part in a school workshop on the Vikings)
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