Sunday, March 30, 2014

1014 Exhibition

People must surely be aware by now that this year celebrates the millennium of the Battle of Clontarf. They may not be aware that the battle took place at dawn on 23 April 1014 but those involved in the commemorations are very aware of this. It is now the deadline for all sorts of things, from the inauguration of the Millenium Trail to the republication of The Meadow of the Bull.

You get a great flavour of all this frenetic activity and enthusiasm when visiting the Historical and Community Exhibition in St. Anthony's old church on the Clontarf Road. If you haven't yet been, it's now too late to go as the exhibition finished this evening (30/3/2014).

Never mind, though, I'll give you a wee flavour of it.

Click on any image for a larger version

I was met by this friendly Viking and his daughter on my way in. He was displaying a range of Viking objects, mostly military, and he is a reminder that Clontarf will witness the mother of re-enactments in St. Anne's Park on 19-20 April 2014. It is billed as the "Biggest Living History Re-enactment ever held in Ireland, with hundreds of re-enactors, village, crafts, skills and weapons, story telling, falconry, archery, coin striking, food and music". How they had time for all this stuff in 1014 between chopping each other's heads off is beyond me, but, no doubt, all will be revealed on the day.

The helmet on the left is of a type worn by the Vikings at the time of Clontarf while the one on the right is a later model.

We have some stamps due out (in time for the 23rd ??) but the Manx have beaten us to it. Just as well they were less on the ball when it came to the actual battle.

The guy above is Brodir (or Broder or whatever) the hate figure from school who actually killed our beloved Brian Boru.

And in case you thought I was joking about the up close ferocity of the battle, check out this one. It is much easier to interpret than the 19th century Frazer painting at any rate.

We were also treated to a collection of relevant maps from Leslie Brown. I had seen Leslie's work before, at a maritime seminar in Pearse St. and it is very wide ranging. His son is the historian who is preoccupied with the content of the maps while he, himself, is an engineer and looks after the presentation aspects.

There were also books and stuff directly related to the Battle and clearly one child was already putting in some practice for the big occasion.

The East Wall History Group. Don't forget that in 1014 Clontarf was a fairly large amorphous area outside the city. East Wall was certainly part of it, but, by some accounts, it stretches to Glasnevin. My grandfather, who lived in Glasnevein was baptised in St. John's church at the bottom of Vernon Avenue, then his parents' parish church.

Eventually, as it was getting late, I thought I should scarper. Nothing to do, of course, with the formerly friendly Viking, now dressed for battle, advancing towards me with one of those things you chop people's heads off with.

(Click on the 1014 tag below to see other posts related to Brian Boru)

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