Magnus succeeded his father Olaf as King of Norway in 1093 and jointly ruled with his cousin Hakon. Hakon died of sickness in 1094, leaving Magnus the sole ruler of Norway. Magnus invaded and consolidated Norwegian rule and control in the Scottish Isles, Hebrides, Orkneys, the Isle of Man and parts of Ireland. He also defeated the Norman Earls - Hugh of Chester and Hugh of Shrewsbury at Anglesey after responding to the Welsh call for help.
He got the name Barefoot or Barelegs from the fact that he would wear a Scottish Kilt. There is no concrete evidence as to the exact location of his death but belief, folklore and conclusion point to a location known locally as the 'war hollow' which is situated within the Royal Portrush Golf Course in County Antrim.
It is known that a battle took place here between an Irish army and Norse invaders around that period and that artefacts have been found there in the past which would back up this cunclusion, the landscape at that time would have been marshy and boggy amongst the dunes.
It is written that Magnus landed in Ireland in 1102 and was joined in his conquest by the King of Connaught, whose daughter his son Sigurd had married. They set out and took a large part of the country under their control including the area around Dublin, finally returning to spend the winter in Connaught.
In the spring they set out north and took the greater part of Ulster under their control after which the Connaught king returned home. Magnus had left forces in Dublin and brought his fleet of ships north and anchored them off the Ulster coast ( possibly in the Skerry Roads).
He was intending to set sail for Norway but his army needed provisions for the journey. He sent a handful of men with word to the King of Connaught asking that cattle fit for slaughtering be sent and to have them arrive before the celebration of St. Bartholomew's (August 25th), it was said the sea was calm and the weather very warm at the time.
When they didn't arrive on St. Bartholomew's Day, Magnus took a large contingent of his army and set off inland with the intention of foraging the surrounding lands for provisions.
They proceeded through marshy ground until they came to a height and saw dust rising in the distance, some thought it was an Irish army and others the overdue cattle, a debate took place between them and Magnus decided that they should prepare themselves in case it was the Irish army.
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