Vikings invading England. illustration from the 12th century Miscellany on the Life of St. Edmund

The Viking invasions of Scotland heralded a new type of warfare.

By equipping their boats with keels, a significant number of warriors could be accommodated on sea journeys that presented little problem to the highly developed Norse navigational and rigging skills.

Their terror is first recorded in 793 with the destruction of Lindisfarne monastery. Attacks on Iona began in 794 whilst Orkney and Shetland became Norse colonies, followed by the entire Hebrides and areas of the mainland.