Discovery of a Viking Sword found in the River Moy!

Discovery of a Viking Sword found in the River Moy!

A new exhibition has opened at the National Museum of Country Life in Turlough,  entitled ‘The Hoard and the Stone.’

This exhibition explores the discovery of a hoard of silver bracelets from Cushalogurt,  Kilmeena, and a Viking sword found in the River Moy at Coolcronaun. This is the largest hoard of silver arm-rings found in Ireland. Find out about their discovery,  their use as jewellery and currency and who might have buried them. The Viking sword, although corroded from over a millennium in the Moy, is a fine example of late 10th century craftsmanship and its conservation is revealing more details of its past.

These objects give evidence of Mayo’s Viking Heritage and are on display in the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life, Turlough until June 2017.

This sword was dredged from the River Moy at Coolcronaun, near Foxford in 1963. It is a Viking type of sword, probably made in Scandinavia around c.925-975 AD and brought to Ireland by a Viking warrior. However, its final owner could have been either a Viking or an Irish warrior. A very similar sword, found in the river Shannon near Banagher, Co. Offaly in 2012, could have belonged to a warrior on one of the ships that Brian Boru frequently sent up the Shannon in the late 10th century.
















Sword handle (N.M.I. Collection – 1963:69)


This Mayo sword has suffered a lot of damage and corrosion during a thousand years in the Moy. The crossguard, which protected the user’s hand at the top of the blade is gone and there are also parts missing at the end of the blade. But investigations tell us it was a well-made sword, with an inscription in the blade and inlaid silver decoration on the pommel (and probably on the missing crossguard). It must originally have belonged to a relatively wealthy and important warrior.




Mayo’s Viking Heritage are on display in the National Museum of Ireland –  Country Life, Turlough until June 2017.