The Vikings

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  • Wicklow history

Viking Raiders

The earliest written evidence of Viking activities in Wicklow is dated in 827 AD. The Viking raiders were attracted to coastal settlements where they could easily plunder lots of valuable materials, such as timber and church valuables, and where they could capture people for slavery.

The natives of Wicklow needed to find ways to protect themselves from the raiders. Monks were very vulnerable because they were peaceful and kept precious items in their monastries. They had the idea of building round towers to protect themselves.The door into a round tower was 6-20 feet above its base, so a ladder was needed to reach the entrance. This gave the monks a safer place to stay and hide their valuables when the Viking raiders attacked. The one featured above is found at Glendalough, Co. Wicklow.