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Sitric Silkbeard

Find out more about the famous Norse king.

Circa 970AD



Sitric Silkbeard


Sitric Silkbeard was the son of Óláfr Sigtryggsson (known as Amlaíb in Irish sources), Norse king of Dublin and York and of Gormlaith ingen Murchada, a daughter of the King of Leinster.

It is thought that Sitric became king of Dublin in 989 and, despite being in regular conflict with various Irish kings over the years, he managed to stay in power until 1036.

Circa 970AD Born in Dublin

Sitric was born to a Norse king and Irish mother of sovereign heritage.

989AD Became King of Dublin

Sitric took over the throne from his father Óláfr Sigtryggsson and managed to retain it until 1036.

997AD Attacks Kells and Clonard

In 997, Sitric attacks the monastic towns of Kells and Clonard in Meath in his pursuit to become King of Leinster.

999AD The Battle of Glenmama

Sitric teams up with Máel Mórda mac Murchada (his uncle) to take on Brian Boru in the Battle of Glenmama. The pair are defeated with many of their army killed along the shores of the River Liffey.

999AD Marries Sláine ingen Briain

Sitric is believed to have married Sláine ingen Briain, the daughter of Brian Boru in 999 following the Battle of Glenmama. This was seen as a move that would unite the Dublin and Munster forces following the recent battle. Sitric and Sláine had a son called Olaf.

1014AD Battle of Clontarf

Sitric teamed up with Máel Mórda again to revolt against Brian Boru at the Battle of Clontarf. While Boru won the battle, he would ultimately be killed (along with Máel Mórda). Sitric survived and remained in power as the King of Dublin.

1028AD Leaves for Rome

Sitric leaves Ireland to go on a pilgrimage to Rome.

1030AD Founds Christ Church Cathedral

Upon his return to Dublin, Sitric is believed to have founded the original Viking church at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin. This is the oldest building in Dublin, and was founded with Dúnán, the first Bishop of Dublin.

1042AD Death of Sitric

Sitric is believed to have died in exhile at an unknown location.