Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Battle of Largs
The Battle of Largs took place in 1263 between Scotland and King Haakon IV of Norway's forces. A prolonged struggle ensued between Haakon's army and the Scottish defenders under Alexander III. The outcome of the battle is today recognised as a victory for the Scots, as it began the chain of events that soon ensured their dominance over the Western Isles. This sovereignity was only formally confirmed in 1266: Haakon's successor, Magnus VI of Norway, signed the isles over to the Scots in the Treaty of Perth , following Haakon's death in late 1263 on Orkney, succumbing to illness.
The battle is commemorated in modern-day Largs by a small monument of cylindrical shape with a spiked top at the seafront - inevitably, it is known as "The Pencil."
Varying historical reports and interpretations call the battle either a victory for the Scots or a victory for the Norwegians. No definitive outcome is known, but what is assuredly so is that in the years following the battle, the Western Isles came under Scottish dominion, where they have remained ever since. Orkney and Shetland joined them not long after. As for the battle itself, its outcome was seemingly integral to these events that followed, hence the fashion for proclaiming it a Scottish victory despite clear evidence one way or the other.
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