The Wirral Norse - 'Little Scandanavia"

The Vikings started harrying the Celtic & Anglo Saxon kingdoms of the British isles around 800AD. These took the form of raids on the coastal areas and in particular they targeted the monastries.

On mainland Britain, they attacked a Anglo Saxon communities and in the mid 9th Century established a Kingdom around the city of York on the east coast of Yorkshire, changing the city name from the Saxon 'Eoforwic' to a more Scandanavian "Jorvik"

Present day Ireland was not immune to Viking attacks and in 841AD it seems the Vikings decided to colonise what is now Dublin. According to the ancient record of Irish history, Annall of Ulster, the first entry for 841 AD reads: "Pagans still on Lough Neagh".

The Vikings stayed and established Dublin as the centre of a new Kingdom, often sharing the same king as the Viking Kingdom based on the city of York
Over time, the rulers of Dublin became increasingly Gaelicised. Gaelic and Norse traditions mixed together and the people of this culture are often referred to as Norse-Gaels.


The Uí Ímair - the Norse of Ireland & Britain

The Irish Celts Drive Out the Uí Ímair 902AD

The Annals of Ulster record that in 902, the Vikings were driven out of Dublin after a bloody battle, stating. "The heathens were driven from Ireland, i.e. from the fortress of Áth Cliath [Dublin]

These displaced Norsemen were known by the Irish Celts as the Uí Ímair (Old Irish meaning the Dynasty of Ivar). The annals of Ulster include an obituary of Ivar which reads: Imhar, rex Nordmannorum totius Hibernie & Brittanie, uitam finiuit., or "Ivar, king of all the Norse of Ireland and Britain, ended his life.

Thrown out of their Dublin Kingdoms, the
Uí Ímair looked for places to settle. There are accounts of their activity the coastal areas of the Irish Sea including Pictland, the Isle of Man.

The Uí Ímair attack the Celtic Kingdom of Gynnedd 902AD

Following their expulsion from Dublin, a large group of Uí Ímair, led by Ingimund, fled across the Irish sea, and attempted to establish themselves in Anglesey, part of the British Celtic Kingdom of Gwynedd. The King of Gwynedd, was Anarawd son of Rhodri

They could not have expected a warm welcome, although they had been allied to the Welsh, the Uí Ímair had proved unreliable allies against the Anglo-Saxons and Anarawd had reached a compromise with Alfred the Great.

In 894, the Uí Ímair had launched an attack on Anglesey which King Anarawad had defeated. Now they faced a second Uí Ímair invasion.

Anarawd rallied the Welsh Celts and in a bloody battle threw the Uí Ímair invaders back into the sea.

The Uí Ímair seek refuge in the Wirral 902AD

The Uí Ímair set sail and followed the coast line until they passed into territory controlled by the Anglo Saxon Kingdom of Mercia. Arriving on the Mercian shores of the Wirral Peninsular which formed part of the Anglo Saxon Kingdom of Mercia. The Uí Ímair, now demoralised and battle weary sought agreement from or "Ethelfleda" (Aethelflaed ) Queen of the Mercian Anglo-Saxons to settle there peacefully.