The battle of Clontarf, over 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.

This website was developed in 2014 for the millennial anniversary of the battle.

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.

Máel Mórda mac Murchada: War over a Slight at a Chess Game?

In the medieval period Yew trees were associated with sacred sites and thus the laws of sanctuary were extended to them.

The Story of Gormlaith: Jealous Divorcee or Literary Victim?

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

'Clontarffe' in Thomas Leland's 'The history of Ireland' (1774)

Thomas Leland was vicar of St Anne's Church on Dawson Street in Dublin in the late 1700s.

Death of Mathgamain mac Cennétig, 976 AD

Brian Boru’s brother Mathgamain was treacherously slain by a rival for the kingship of Munster.

The Brian Boru Harp

The Brian Boru harp was stolen for a short period in 1969.