A Birlinn comprised a class of small galleys with 12 to 18 oars, used especially in the Hebrides and West Highlands of Scotland in 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 Alasdair is one of the notable literary representations of the "birlinn".

External links

* [ Clan Sinclair]
* []
* [ Stormy seas ahead in boat battle]
* [] - using the Birlinn to rebuild community in Scotland
* [ Mallaig Galleys]

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