Segments in this Video

Vikings and Scotland (03:34)


In 1263, Vikings attacked the west coast of Scotland at the Battle of Largs. It would be their last attempt at invasion and the end of the long history between Scotland and Scandinavia. However, Viking influence in Scotland remained.

Viking Canal (05:52)

Underwater archaeologist Jon Henderson travels to Rubha an Dunain, a peninsula on the Isle of Skye. The man-made canal at the site makes archaeologists believe it was used as a base for Vikings raiding Scotland. The secluded lake could have been a place to store their ships during the winter.

"The Life of St. Blathmac" (02:56)

By 825, Vikings raiders had forced most people living on the monastic island of Iona to move. Blathmac, one of the remaining monks, prepared the others for martyrdom at the hands of the Vikings. Though Blathmac's story has been thought of as Christian propaganda, Vikings had been terrorizing coastal communities for decades.

Origin of Vikings (05:23)

Scandinavian sailors began establishing trade and raiding routes through Europe and Russia in the eighth century. Vikings from the fjords in western Norway went to Scotland, which was a short trip. Historians have theorized a search for wealth from silver in monasteries is why the Vikings began raiding in Scotland.

Viking Slaves (04:58)

Vikings frequently took people for Scotland, including monasteries, as slaves. The slave trade fueled most of the early Viking raids into Scotland. The longship allowed Vikings to transport more slaves over greater distances.

Viking Longships (03:14)

Longships were low, fast, and maneuverable, which made them hard to see or catch. The hull was built with overlapping planks, making it light and flexible.

Viking Colonization (03:54)

Scotland was only a two-day longship trip from the western fjords of Norway. Orkney was so overrun by Vikings that some stayed and established farms there. The style of boats built on Orkney were similar to longships.

Viking Confidence (08:46)

By the eighth century, Vikings were an unstoppable raiding force that few could defend against. The Picts and Gaels tribes in Scotland were defeated by the Vikings but refugees banded together and formed the fugitive kingdom of Alba. The Vikings in Scotland had settled in Innse Gall, converted to Christianity, and began farming full-time.

Viking Allegiance (04:07)

By the 13th century, Haakon IV of Norway and Alexander II of Scotland had been crowned king and considered Innse Gall to be their territory. The two kings fought over islands in the Firth of Clyde and later control of all of Innse Gall. In 1249, Alexander II was killed, and Haakon began to rule the region.

Viking Failure (07:23)

Alexander III of Scotland, Alexander II's son, continued the fight for Innse Gall against Haakon IV and Norway. In 1263, Haakon led a fleet to fight the Scottish, gathering supporters along the way. A storm destroyed the Norse fleet near Largs and those who made it ashore were pushed back by the Scots.

End of Viking Rule (06:37)

A few days after the Battle of Largs, Haakon ordered the fleet to disperse. He had plans to wait out the winter in Orkney and return to punish Alexander, but he died in December 1263. His successor, Magnus Lawmender, did not continue the fight against Scotland and gave up his claim to Innse Gall in exchange for payment from Alexander.

Credits: The Last Battle Of the Vikings (00:28)

Credits: The Last Battle Of the Vikings

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The Last Battle Of The Vikings

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Marine archeologist Dr. Jon Henderson tells the story of the the Norsemen in Scotland, visiting archeological sites across Scotland and Norway. Nowhere in the British Isles was the Viking connection longer-lasting or deeper than in Scotland. Hundreds of years after their first hit-and-run raids, the Norsemen still dominated huge swathes of the country. But, storm clouds were gathering. In 1263, the Norwegian King Haakon IV assembled a fleet of 120 longships to counter Scottish raids on the Norse Hebrides. It was a force comparable in size to the Spanish Armada over three centuries later. But like the Armada, the Norse fleet was eventually defeated by a powerful storm.

Length: 58 minutes

Item#: FMK188001

ISBN: 978-1-64867-225-5

Copyright date: ©2013

Closed Captioned

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