In Islay's history, there are no convincing records of the Vikings ever having been there. In recent years, historians have been keen to marginalise the islands Viking experience, choosing instead to focus on the enduring stability of native Celtic culture, and tracing the islands modern Gaelic traditions back in an unbroken chain to the dawn of the Christian era.However, the foundations of this presumption are flawed. With no written accounts to go by, the real story of Islays Viking Age has to be read from another type of source material the silent witness of the names of local places. The Vikings in Islay presents a systematic review of around 240 of the islands farm and nature names. The conclusions drawn turn traditional assumptions on their head. The romance of Islays names, it seems, masks a harrowing tale of invasion, apartheid and ethnic cleansing.