‘Linn Duchaill’ Viking Settlement Discovered at Annagassan, Ireland

VikingArchaeologists have discovered a 9th century Viking settlement at Annagassan, Ireland.

The discovery is the culmination of a long term research project to identify the site of the Viking fortress of Linn Duchaill.

It was long time suspected that the stronghold was to be found at Annagassan, County Louth, Ireland.

The excavation of three trial trenches now confirms the results of a previous geophysical survey.

A defensive rampart, consisting of a deep ditch and a bank was found. Likely, the fosse was the main fortification of the Norsemen‘s stronghold, which was further protected by the river Glide and the Irish Sea.

The identification of the site as a longphort (a fortified over-wintering spot for Viking fleets) is strengthened by the discovery of bronze rivets used to build and repair ships.

Other finds include cup-up silver for trading and weighing, a brooch pin and part of a human skull.

The longphort of Linn Duchaill was established in AD 841, in the same year as Dublin’s still lost Viking fortress about 60 kilometres south.

Yet, opposed to ‘Dubh Linn’ (sacked by the Irish king Brian Boru in 999), Linn Duchaill was abandoned by the Vikings who left for Britain less than 100 years after its foundation.

The excavation was directed by Dr. Mark Clinton in collaboration with Eamon P. Kelly, Archaeologist, and local historian Micheal McKeown.