Defending the Town

Ed Mooney Photography

Youghal Town Cannon (1)

I came upon these pair of bad boys standing guard outside the Town Hall on a recent family trip to Youghal in County Cork. Now whilst they are not per say, a normal Ruinhunting attraction, they do play an important role in the history of the town, which dates back to early Christian times when the likes of St. Corán and St. Declan of Ardmore fame were said to have established monastic settlements here during the fifth century. Youghal or Eochaill to give it its old name which means “yew wood” also became an important base of operations for our friends from the north whom established a Viking settlement here during the ninth century. By 864 A.D. the Viking fortress at Youghal had been destroyed by the local Deisi clan. Then in 1173 a great battle took place at sea, when a Norman fleet whom had just raided nearby Lismore…

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Why Is This the Only Existing Viking Age Helmet?

Only Existing Viking Age Helmet - Norway

This iron helmet is the only one that is found in Scandinavia dating back to the Viking Age. Why are not more found? (Photo: Museum of Cultural History, Oslo)

In 1943, extraordinarily rich finds from the Viking Age were made in Haugsbygd in Ringerike, Eastern Norway. The finds included – among many other objects – the only helmet dating back to the Viking era found in Scandinavia.

Helmets are described in the Norse Sagas, and almost exclusively in association with chiefs and kings. Illustrations from the Viking Age are almost non-existing, but in some cases where the Vikings are depicted with ships, it looks as if they are wearing a helmet. Or is it really helmets? It is suggested that the Vikings actually wore pointy hoods as protection from the weather.

Unique Findings

March 30 1943, during World War II in Nazi-occupied Norway: On the farm Gjermundbu in Haugsbygd in…

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