The Woodstown site near the new Waterford Bypass could date back to the year 820 and pre date Dublin by a generation, a number of historians believe. A Viking Congress held in Waterford last weekend detailed many aspects of this unique site that pre dates Waterford city. Over 220 attended the Congress from Britain, USA, Sweden and Norway, filling the Granville Hotel. The Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, opened the proceedings as he was in town for the Green Party conference.
Eamon McEneaney, organiser of the conference and curator of Waterford Museum of Treasures, reckoned from the research that Woodstown was an early trading post set up by Danes who arrived by island hopping along the way around Scotland.
One speaker from Norway, Professor Dagfinn, reckoned that up to 120 long boats could have come with 30 men per ship around 820 AD. The Professor is attached to Oslo University where he is head of Viking Studies and medieval archaeology.
According to him, these raiders traders were likely from the Islands of Denmark and were pushed out from there by incoming German and French tribes. They moved west and found Ireland and Waterford’s Suir river. They wanted to develop their own wealth bringing Scandinavian coins, bracelets and skills buying from and stealing from the Irish. Slaves were also taken and sold in European markets in what was a terrible trade. They traded as far east as current day Baghdad and the Persian Empire.
See The Munster Express newspaper for full story.