The þing - The Skald's seat

The Inspiration - The Storyexternal image bard_skald.jpgSkalds were poets and historians.
Skaldic poetry can be traced to the earlier 9th century with Bragi Boddason and his Ragnarsdrápa, the oldest surviving Norse poem written for the king he served, the Swedish King, Bjorn Ironside.[2]Bragi is considered the oldest and original Skald as his work is the earliest work discovered. However, many Skalds came after him, like Egil Skallagrimsson and Thorbjorn Hornklofi, who gained much fame in the 10th century for the poems composed for the kings they served and of their own exploits. At this time, the Icelanders and Nordic people were still pagan, and their work reflected that, having many references to supernatural and ancient beliefs, such as gods like Thor and Odin, along with faith in seers and runes. [3] The poetry from this time also can be noted for its portrayal of a "heroic age" for the Vikings, and "praise poetry, designed to commemorate kings and other prominent people, often in the form of quite long poems." [4]
Although, Skalds did not remain strict romanticists for long. As time went on, Skalds became the main source of Icelandic and Norse history and culture, as it was the Skalds who learned and shared the largely oral history.[5]
This lead to a shift in the role of the Skald, allowing them to gain more prominent positions. Every king and chieftain needed a Skald to record their feats and ensure their legacy lived on, as well as becoming the main historians of their society. The written artifacts of that time come from Skalds, as they were the first from the time and place to record on paper. Some Skalds became clerical workers, recording laws and happenings of the government, some even being elected to the Thing and Althing, while others worked with churches to record the lives and miracles of Saints, along with passing on the ideals of Christianity. This last point is a very important point, as Skalds were the main agents of culture, when the Skalds began glorifying and passing on Christianity over the old pagan beliefs, the Viking culture shifted towards Christianity, as well.
As the years passed, the Skald profession was threatened with extinction, until Snorri Sturluson compiled the Prose Edda as a manual with the aim to preserve an appreciative understanding of their art.[6] Snorri, born in Iceland during the 12th century is the most famous Skald. In addition to being a great poet, he was leader of the Althing for part of his life, leading the government of Iceland. His Prose Edda did preserve and pass on the traditions and methods of the Skalds, adding a much needed stimulus to the profession, and providing much of the information which is known today about Skalds and how they worked. For example, the Prose Edda broke down and explained all the kennings used in Skaldic poetry, allowing many of them to be understood today. Beyond writing the Prose Edda, Snorri had many great poems, ranging from re-telling old Norse legends, to tales on exploits of kings, that gave him much fame, which make his reputation live on beyond his death.[7]

Our own law maker Tavish Scott MSP visited the site
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The only piece of recycling here is the blue rope edging but we have made sure all wood and bark were from sustainable sources

102_6934.JPGThe seat was built in situ by a local builder Ellis Keith. We particularly like the strainer post 102_6936.JPGlegs. We filled in the bark and made a border with a fishing rope recovered from the sea. The bark makes it safe and dry even in winter. The rope gives a clean edge and makes it easier to cut the grass. The turf that was removed will be used in another area of the garden.

Finished the seat will be a great place to meet and tell stories
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