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King Magnus and Tarbert
Tarbert Self Catering

King Magnus and Tarbert

The Legend of King Magnus

The legend of Magnus Barefoot is very well known locally and a story associated with Tarbert and how he came to claim the land on Kintyre.

In the Orkneyinga Saga (which is the history of the Earls of Orkney, written in Iceland in the 13th Century and is an important historical source) there is a detailed account of his expedition of 1093.

Whilst travelling north alongside the Scottish coast messengers arrived from then King, Malcolm of Scotland offering King Magnus a settlement letting him have all the islands off of the west coast of Scotland separated by water and navigable by a ship. The legend tells of Magnus reaching Kintyre, where he sat at the helm of his skiff which he had hauled across the narrow isthmus between the now, East Loch and West Loch, Tarbert, and as the skiff and its crew had navigated this, the peninsula of Kintyre was won. It was thought that Kintyre was far more valuable than the best of the Hebridean islands.