A Birlinn comprised a class of small
galleys with 12 to 18 oars, used especially in the Hebridesand West Highlands of Scotlandin the Middle Ages. Variants in English and Lowland Scots include "berlin" and "birling". It probably derives ultimately from the Norse "byrðingr", i.e. a ship of burden.
They appear in Scottish heraldry as the "lymphad" (a corruption of the
Scottish Gaelic"long fada", meaning "long ship" - confusingly "long" is actually the word for "ship", and "fada" means "long" in English)
"Birlinn Chlann Raonaill" (the Birlinn of Clan Ranald), by
Alasdair MacMhaighstir Alasdairis one of the notable literary representations of the "birlinn".
* [http://www.clansinclairusa.org/articles/march2001/thebirlinngalley.php Clan Sinclair]
* [http://www.birlinn.org/macaulay.htm Birlinn.org]
* [http://www.sundayherald.com/18369 Stormy seas ahead in boat battle]
* [http://www.galgael.org GalGael.org] - using the Birlinn to rebuild community in Scotland
* [http://www.mallaigheritage.org.uk/exhibit/galleys.htm Mallaig Galleys]
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