The battle of Clontarf, a thousand years ago, was the culmination of Brian Boru's long-fought campaign for political control of Ireland. His successes permanently broke the Uí Néill dominance of the high-kingship and catapulted his small dynasty, the Dál Cais, onto the national stage.

Begin the adventure: explore Brian's rise to power, life in Viking-Age Ireland and how both Brian and the battle have been transformed from historical figures into Irish legends.

Explore the hidden history of Clontarf!

Diet: What Did People Eat in Viking-Age Ireland?

At important feasts a person's status determined the part of the animal they were entitled to eat.

The Mythological Female Figures of Clontarf: Harbingers of Death

According to legend, a Banshee is a female figure whose wail foretells death.

The Story of Gormlaith: Jealous Divorcee or Literary Victim?

According to the author of Njal's Saga, Gormlaith orchestrated the battle of Clontarf.

Brian Boru as the Model Irish King: Lament for Brian O'Neill

Late medieval bardic poets were highly paid: they might recieve a horse or a suit of armour for their work.

Clothing: What Did People Wear in Viking-Age Ireland?

The Old Irish term for a veiled woman (caillech) could also refer to a female spouse, a nun, an older woman or a clerical concubine

Keating and the King in Print (1723)

Brian Boru was one of the first medieval Irish kings to be represented in print.