On this day, October 17, 1171, Henry II, King of England, landed in Waterford, Ireland to assert his power over the island country. This image is courtesy of the public domain book, Peeps At History: Ireland by Beatrice Home.
It's coincidental that 105 years prior, during the same week, Henry's great-grandfather, William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, invaded England and won the crown for himself at the Battle of Hastings (October 14, 1066).
Talk about a family legacy! <wink>
Anyway, if you follow my Facebook or Twitter, you've probably seen a recent influx of things of medieval Norman origin. I alluded in a post from last year that I'm in the midst of writing a historical novel (possibly YA) that is set during the period of the Anglo-Norman Invasion of Ireland (c. 1169-1172). I've currently been in a heavy research phase, in the hopes of jump-starting the project once again. Here are some of the resources that I've found valuable in getting the timeline straight in my head:
- The Historical Works of Giraldus Cambrensis (Gerald of Wales), a seriously biased body of work in regards to the native Irish population, but it's a primary source, hence the value
- The Song of Dermot and the Earl, early 13th century account of Strongbow's coming to Ireland
- Ireland Under the Normans by G.H. Orpen (c. 1911)
- Strongbow: The Norman Invasion of Ireland, by Conor Kostick (2013)
I recently came across Fin Dwyer's Irish History Podcast website and he is in the process of recording a series dedicated to the Anglo-Norman Invasion of Ireland. Have a listen to today's historical account of Henry II's arrival in Ireland.
And, since I didn't get around to sharing the Ireland photos on this blog after getting to Waterford, I might as well share a few photos.
Dermot MacMurrough's (Diarmuit MacMurchada) grave in Ferns, Co. Wexford. Ferns was the main home of the King of Leinster (MacMurrough). Sadly, the ruins of Ferns Castle wasn't open yet for the season, so we missed out on that.
Reginald's Tower, Waterford. Where Strongbow's forces were headquartered. This was originally built by the Viking settlers (invaders?) and was a part of the town walls. Totally amazing place with four? floors accessed by a narrow, steep, winding stone staircase.
Norman and Irish warrior garb display at King John's Castle, Limerick (son of Henry II).
King John's Castle, Limerick
The north door of Clonmacoise Cathedral (burial site of Rory O'Connor)
Detail of the three saints over the north door, Clonmacnoise Cathedral. Saint Dominic (left), Saint Patrick (center), and the headless Saint Francis (right). Poor Frank!