ISBuC (v7) 2012
Vikings on Skye
(794 - 1266)

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Viking invaders are recorded in Skye as early as 794 and over the following centuries Norway played a major part in Skye's history.

By 875 Norwegian settlers began arriving, fleeing revolution at home. They settled all through the islands of the north and west of Scotland and were soon launching raids against their former homeland. Norway launched retaliatory raids and a period of bloody retribution followed.

After 907 they seemed to have put aside their differences and a generation of Gallgaels were born to inter race marriages. In 1014 Skyemen and Norsemen are recorded as fighting alongside each other against the forces of Brian Boru, the Irish King at the Battle of Clontarf.

1098 saw King 'Magnus Barelegs' of Norway, attack and take control of the islands to quell an uprising in which the Norse viceroy had been killed. Olave the Red was appointed viceroy and named 'King of Man'.

By 1263 Olave the Black, 'King of Man and the Isles' was in control and under constant attack from the mainland of Scotland. He appealed to King Haco of Norway for help who set sail from Bergen on 15th July with a fleet of 120 ships intent on invading Scotland. They moored at the place now known as Kyleakin (Kyle of Haco) and were joined by the barons of the isles and many of the princes of the house of Somerled. The fleet sailed south and was defeated at Largs that August.

In 1266 the treaty of Perth saw Skye become part of Scotland, the territory of the Lord of the Isles and the Viking period on Skye largely at an end.