Viking ship arrives in Ireland

A reconstruction of a 900-year-old Irish-built Viking ship, which set sail from Denmark seven weeks ago, arrived in Ireland today.

A reconstruction of a 900-year-old Irish-built Viking ship, which set sail from Denmark seven weeks ago, arrived in Ireland today.

The Sea Stallion of Glendalough, the biggest reconstruction of a Viking long ship in the world and crewed by 65 people, put into shore early this morning at Clogherhead, Co Louth.

After sailing 1,000 miles from the Danish port of Roskilde, via Norway and the Orkneys, it is expected to arrive in Dublin early on Tuesday and will be put on show in the National Museum.

A Danish tourism spokesman said: “The arrival in Dublin will be a homecoming of sorts as the Sea Stallion is a reconstruction of a ship, the Skuldelev 2, built in Dublin in 1042.

“Dublin was founded by Scandinavian settlers and in the 11th century was a flourishing trading centre with a large Scandinavian population and close ties to others parts of the Viking world.”

The Skuldelev 2 is believed to have sunk in Roskilde Fjord, near Copenhagen, some 30 years later. The remains of this ship, as well as four others, were excavated in the 1960s.

The reconstruction was carried out over four years at the boatyard attached to the Roskilde Viking Ship Museum.

The shipbuilders employed the same materials, tools and techniques used to build the original ship and around 300 oak trees were used, with more than 7,000 nails, rivets and spikes.

The boat, which is 30 metres long, left Denmark on July 1 and set sail for Ireland with a crew of 65.

The purpose of the voyage is to test and document the seaworthiness, speed and manoeuvrability of the ship on the rough open sea and in coastal waters with strong currents.

It is hoped the voyage will also give insights into Viking society.

It is more than 1,200 years since Viking raiders landed in Ireland. They came exclusively from Norway and the first recorded raid was in 795 on Rathlin Island, off the Antrim coast, where the local church was burned.

More in this section